Tuesday, April 9, 2013
(San Diego) AB 154, legislation by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins to expand the list of healthcare professionals who are authorized to perform early abortions, was approved by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee today. Under this bill, nurses, physician’s assistants, and nurse-midwives would be able to perform aspiration abortions after receiving training. The bill addresses a serious shortage of healthcare providers available to women seeking this procedure.
“More than half the counties in California have no abortion provider, forcing women to travel long distances or endure long waiting lists in order to receive basic reproductive healthcare,” says Atkins. “For some, this delay means a more complicated procedure or even giving up. My bill increases the number of skilled and trained professionals available to fill this healthcare gap.”
A recent comprehensive study conducted by the University of California San Francisco and published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that trained nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians assistants can safely provide early abortions and that women appreciate receiving care in their own communities. AB 154 includes stringent training and competency requirements for these practitioners.
The bill is sponsored by the California Women’s Health Alliance, a coalition of groups dedicating to protecting and improving the reproductive health of California women and will next be heard in the Assembly Health Committee.