News Abortion

Expansion of Abortion Access In California Derailed For Now

Robin Marty

A bill meant to allow more qualified medical professionals to perform aspiration abortions has been rewritten due to objections from the state's Nursing Association.

Prospects for expansion of abortion access for rural women in California may be dimmer now, as a bill written to allow midwives, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners to perform aspiration abortions has been challenged by the state’s Nursing Association. 

Rather than allow any of those medical professionals to be legally allowed to perform abortions, the bill has been changed to only allow those who have completed a training program at the University of California San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health — 41 participants so far.

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Via The Sacremento Bee:

Sponsors of the bill, including Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, say Kehoe’s original measure would ensure that women in rural and medically under-served communities have access to early abortions. They argue that results of the multi-year study, which served as a model for the bill, have shown that it is safe for trained clinicians identified in the bill to perform the procedure with proper training.

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But opposition from the California Nurses Association, which contends the change would be premature because the program is not complete and the study has not been peer reviewed, threatened to derail the proposal. The association has also raised concerns about how earlier language would affect nurses’ ability to assist with other kinds of abortions and procedures.

Compromise language to authorize only the study participants to perform the procedure after the pilot program wraps up emerged late last week, as the bill faces a Friday deadline for winning approval in two policy committees.

The bill’s sponsor is hoping to find a new compromise that would restore “the bill to its original intent,” according to the paper.

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