(San Diego) Governor Brown has signed AB 154, legislation carried by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins that expands access to abortion. The bill broadens the categories of trained healthcare professionals who may perform early abortions to include nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives. This expansion will help alleviate a shortage of abortion providers in California, where more than half the counties have no abortion provider.
“Timely access to reproductive health services is critical to women’s health,” says Atkins. “AB 154 will ensure that no woman has to travel excessively long distances or wait for long periods in order to obtain an early abortion. I appreciate Governor Brown’s support of women’s health.”
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 such as Planned Parenthood, California Church IMPACT, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Black Women for Wellness. The Alliance is dedicated to protecting and improving the reproductive health of California women. The bill is also supported by the California Medical Association.