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Abortion Access Bill Heads To State Legislative Committees

Evening Edition

Vince Hall, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, talks to KPBS about the California bill to expand who can provide abortions.

Aired 4/24/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Vince Hall, Vice President of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest


Opposition To The Bill

"My immediate response when I heard about this bill was visceral - I felt like I was kicked in the gut. I shouldn't be shocked at the moral failure this represents, but I fear what it says about our society that we are actually looking for more ways to abort babies. "

Brian Jones, Assembly Member, 77th District

A new bill to expand access to abortion in California is being heard by committee in the state legislature today.

The measure, written by state Senator Christine Kehoe of San Diego, would let nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants perform first-trimester abortions using a suction method.

There are about 24,000 of these providers in California.

Vince Hall, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, spoke to KPBS about the bill. He said other states have shown clinicians can safely perform the procedure and that a study that's been done over the last five years in California showed clinicians performed 18,000 suction procedures safely with high patient satisfaction.

"So this is a logical next step because it addresses a very significant problem in California, which is that more than half of our counties don't have a single abortion provider," Hall said. "So you have many women who have a constitutional right to choose, but they don't have any practical access to an abortion provider."

Planned Parenthood has been running ads urging people to pressure state Senator Juan Vargas to support the bill.

"His constituents would directly benefit from his support of this legislation," Hall said.

Vargus has not announced his position on the bill.

State Assemblyman Brian Jones said in a statement that the bill made him feel "like I was kicked in the gut."

Hall said he invites all opponents of abortion to join with Planned Parenthood to make abortion less necessary by providing access to birth control and sex education.

"I understand that there are heartfelt beliefs on both sides of the issue," he said. "Our goal is to both reduce unintended pregnancy, thereby reducing the need for abortion. At the same time, we are ensuring that legal, safe abortion is available to any woman who chooses to exercise that reproductive choice."

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 25, 2012 at 9:23 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

What happened to the "safe abortion" mantra? This is a bad bill.

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | April 25, 2012 at 10:57 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't see the big deal; it's not exactly rocket science. Women were providing safe abortions before it was legal. Pretty interesting underground stuff. The unsafe abortions were happening out of desperation and ignorance.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | April 25, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Why does a person get charged with murdering two people if they kill a pregnant woman, yet aborting a fetus is not murder? It does not make sense.

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | April 25, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually, that's rare Jean. You're thinking of Laci Peterson and she was over seven months pregnant. If a fetus could survive on its own in the first trimester maybe that too would be considered murder, but it can't. Even the Bible considers it only a property crime.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 25, 2012 at 1:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Mission, this bill **does** align with mantra of safe abortion.

It enables women who choose to have an abortion to have a clean, safe clinic to go to and have this done by a health care worker.

The whole point is that we have entire counties in California without a single abortion provider. This means desperate women are more likely in those areas to seek out dangerous and unclean altertanitives that can cause serious physical problems.

It is a woman's constitutional right, as determined by the SCOTUS, to choose whether or not to have have an abortion and here is nothing wrong with ensuring the option is widely available to women in all areas.

**This is a good bill**

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