Governor Jerry Brown, signed Assembly Bill 154 and AB 980 increasing access to early abortion clinics, and those who can perform abortions this past Wednesday.
In California, AB 154 will allow practitioners, certified-midwives, and physician assistants to perform first trimester abortion without a doctors supervision.
Assembly Bill 980 will allow more abortion clinics to be held at the same standard as other primary care facilities, making abortion clinics more widely available in rural areas.
CA has chosen to go the opposite direction of implementing new rules and regulations for better safer procedures for women, due to the current shortage of healthcare, professionals will be able to provide early abortion care in CA.
“Practitioners, certified-midwives, and physician assistants may not seem to be the first choice of doctor when making the choice to have an abortion. But many of these medical assistants who specialize in women’s health were already doing procedures such as inserting IUD’s and pap smears, have also received training in how to perform vacuum aspirations,” according to Tracey Weitz, an associate professor in the ob/gyn department UCSF.
Kathy Keener, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood affiliates of CA says, “AB 154 creates a two-tiered health system for women seeking abortion.”
“Women of means will seek care from physicians working in surgery-ready hospitals, while poor women will seek care from clinics lacking surgical capabilities without doctors present, should anything go wrong,” said Carol Hogan, spokeswomen for the California Catholic Conference.
Women in Kern Valley, have one clinic to serve an area larger than the state of New Jersey.
Many of these women face challenges to gain access to this clinic, often traveling by bus for long hours.
Student Alejandra Membreno, was worried when she found out AB 154 allowed nurses, physician assistants and midwives to perform suction aspirations on women without the presence of a doctor, but was relieved to know these women are certified and trained to perform these procedures already.
“Governor Brown is promoting safe legal abortions for women all through out CA signing off on AB 154 and 980, its comforting to know women will have a broader access to such clinics,” said Membreno.
Membreno added, “It will cause controversy, but it depends what time period you were born in and what your beliefs are, AB 154 and AB 980 are not promoting abortion, they simply are informing women there are now a variety of safe clinics you can turn to.”
Its clear we have reached a turning point in CA as abortions are no longer taboo, and we continue to make progress for safer procedures within womens health clinics.