Forty years ago, AT&T changed the face of long-distance calling with its tremendously successful “Reach Out and Touch Someone” advertising campaign. The highly personal commercials changed the way people viewed long-distance calling, which was then perceived as only viable for emergencies or special occasions.
Today, with the advent of the Internet, blogging, texting, webinars and Skype, there are hundreds of ways for people to stay in touch. How is it, then, that our elected officials can remain so out of touch when it comes to their constituents?
In a matter of weeks, California is poised to increase the number of abortions across the state, even as other states—most notably Texas and New York—have boldly taken steps to either tighten regulations or squelch attempts to widen their access.
As we have reported throughout most of the spring and summer, the Legislature is considering two measures that would widen access to abortion, Assembly Bill (AB) 154 (Atkins, D-San Diego), and AB 980 (Pan, D-Sacramento). AB 154 would decrease the amount of training required to perform abortions by allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives to do the surgeries. AB 980 promotes abortion on two fronts by reducing the building safety standards required for clinics and declassifying abortions as surgical procedures.
Both are scheduled for hearings in the Senate Appropriations Committee when the legislators return to Sacramento from their summer recess on Aug. 12. If approved there, the bills would likely advance to the Senate floor and then on to Gov. Jerry Brown, where he will either sign or veto the measure.
Hopefully before they cast their votes, the Senators will consider the results of a new survey showing that nearly two out of three voters oppose the plan to lessen training standards for those who perform abortions. Smith-Johnson Research of Sacramento conducted the survey in April, and the results were released earlier this month.
According to the pollsters, 65 percent of the respondents said they “opposed” or ‘strongly opposed” the plan to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to do abortions. Only 20 percent favored the move, while another 10 percent strongly favored it. When asked about also allowing nurse midwives to perform abortions, the numbers were even more striking with 76 percent either opposed or strongly opposed.
Finally, pollsters discovered that nearly 66 percent of respondents believe that the new law would make abortions less safe for women, while only 15 percent believed it would be more safe for patients.
Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, which announced the poll findings, called AB 154 “cynical.”
“In the name of solving a non-existent problem—access to abortion—this bill would endanger women’s health and reduce the quality of health care,” he said. “It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of Californians share our concerns.”
The results of the survey are not surprising considering the steady shift in nationwide public opinion regarding abortion. More and more Americans have become disillusioned of easy access for abortions. The most pressing question in the coming weeks is whether our lawmakers will pause from their personal agendas long enough to consider the wishes of the people who put them into power.
One way to ensure Legislators don’t gloss over the findings is to reach out to touch them by way of phone or email. To help, we’ve provided some sample messages below that can be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee. If your Senator serves on the committee, contact them directly. If not, send the letter to the committee.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
Sample messages for key bills
Following are brief sample letters for each of the abortion bills that may be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Listed at the end is the committee roster. If your legislator is on the committee, please send a message or make a call directly to them. If not, please send an email to committee leadership, which is listed on the roster, immediately below the committee name.
AB 154 (Atkins, D-San Diego) Abortion
Senate Appropriations Committee, Aug. 12
- Dear (lawmaker’s name or Senate Appropriations Committee) – see list below
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, you are scheduled to hear AB 154 on Aug. 12. I respectfully request that you vote “No” on AB 154. The bill’s author and supporters maintain AB 154 is necessary to provide rural access for abortion.
What they fail to disclose, however, is that the Guttmacher Institute, the research agency affiliated with Planned Parenthood, notes that less than one percent of women live in California counties without an abortion provider. Additional research shows that California is home to nearly one-third of the country’s abortion providers, while its abortion rate is 8 percent higher than the national average. It is clear that access to abortion in California is not lacking.
Expanding access by allowing nurses to perform the procedure places thousands more women at risk by decreasing the required training to perform abortions and by reclassifying abortion as non-surgical primary care. By their nature, medical abortions are surgical and invasive, sometimes resulting in hemorrhaging. Because of these dangers, the procedure should not be reduced in definition to align with such treatments as a common cold or other basic clinic remedies.
Senate Appropriations Committee
Will hear AB 154 on Aug. 12
Chair Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4022
District Office (213) 483-9300
Vice Chair Mimi Walters (R-Irvine)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4037
District Office (949) 223-5037
Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4001
District Office (916) 933-7213
Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4013
District Office (650) 212-3313
Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4033
District Office (562) 495-4766
Alex Padilla (D-Van Nuys)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4020
District Office (818) 901-5588
Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)
Sacramento Office (916) 651-4006
District Office (916) 651-1529
LifeNews Note: Lori Arnold writes for the California Family Council.