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California Expands Access To Abortions And Birth Control

Aired 9/25/12 on KPBS News.

While other states are passing restrictions on abortions and birth control, California is doing just the opposite.

— California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two bills designed to expand access to contraceptives and abortions. The state is bucking a national trend.

Collectively, states have passed more than 100 restrictions on abortions within the last year. These include mandatory waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds and even mandatory counseling for women who want an abortion.

In contrast, California is expanding access to both abortions and birth control. Planned Parenthood Vice President Vince Hall said the state's approach means more women will get the kind of care they need.

"The rest of the country could learn a lot by listening to California, and if other states were following the lead of people like Gov. Jerry Brown, the nation would be a much better place," Hall said.

One of California's new laws will let nurses dispense contraceptive pills and devices. The other will allow a limited number of nurse practitioners to perform non-surgical abortions.

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