California May Expand Access To Abortions
Monday, July 8, 2013
Aired 7/8/13 on KPBS News.
While a number of states are restricting access to abortions, California may do just the opposite.
California Texas and Ohio are poised to become the latest states to restrict abortions.
Meanwhile, California may be headed in the opposite direction. A bill that would expand access to early-term abortions is moving through the California Senate.
The measure, written by San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, would let nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants perform aspiration abortions. These non-surgical procedures use suction to terminate a pregnancy.
Supporters say the bill is needed because more than half of California counties don't have an abortion provider.
Critics argue the measure would lower the standard of care for California women.
A recent study from UC San Francisco takes a different view.
It compared the outcomes of aspiration abortions performed by non-physician practitioners with those done by doctors. Their safety records were the same, with a complication rate of less than two percent.
The California Assembly has approved the bill to expand access to abortions. The full Senate has yet to weigh in.