Originally published October 9, 2013 at 12:17 p.m., updated October 9, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform a type of early abortion.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure that will expand access to abortions in California. The law lets certain non-physician providers perform aspirations, a non-surgical abortion that uses suction to terminate a pregnancy. These procedures are typically done in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The measure will allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to expand their scope of practice.
San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins wrote the bill. She said the new law is needed because more than half of California counties don't have any certified abortion providers.
Critics contend it will increase the risk to patients.
But a recent study from UC San Francisco refutes that argument.
The five-year study compared the outcomes of aspiration abortions performed by doctors, with those done by non-physician practitioners. It found the outcomes to be the same.
California's new law bucks a national trend. So far this year, at least nine states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, have passed laws restricting access to abortions.