California Advances Bills To Expand Access To Abortions

While states across the nation are imposing new restrictions on abortion procedures, California advanced legislation yesterday to expand access to a first-trimester abortions. Under a senate measure, “nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants would be able to perform what is known as an ‘aspiration’ abortion, which is the most common abortion procedure and takes place in the first trimester of a pregnancy.” A separate bill advanced in an Assembly Committee “passed a separate bill that would expand access to birth control by allowing registered nurses to dispense the medication.” Supporters of both measures hope that the bills would expand the accessibility and affordability of the procedures, especially for women who live in rural areas (where 97 percent of rural counties have no abortion provider). Significantly, the expansion is also safe: a five-year study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco “found that nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants can perform the abortions as safely as physicians.”