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California Senate Approves Bill Allowing Nurses to Do Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Sacramento, CA | LifeNews.com | 8/27/13 12:42 PM

State

The abortion lobby says abortion should be between a woman and her doctor, but the California Senate on Monday approved a bill allowing nurses to do abortions, even though licensed physicians kill and injure women in abortions.

The Senate approved AB 154, a measure that would reduce medical standards that currently require surgical abortions to be performed by a physician and would instead allow first trimester abortions to be performed by physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives. The Senate approved AB154 on a mostly party-line, 25-11 vote and now the state Assembly must sign off on the changes the Senate made.

The bill drew opposition but pro-life advocates have little hope of stopping the measure from getting to the governor.

“Abortion is a serious medical procedure with vast complications, and I would argue that only the best-trained should conduct such an operation,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber. “It has direct and profound impact on lives: the mother and the baby — and there is a baby.”

Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, said legalized abortion was supposed to end the days when women’s lives were put at risk. Yet he said Atkins’ bill would allow the procedures by providers who have less training and in clinics without sufficient backup if there are complications.

Oregon, Montana, Vermont and New Hampshire already allow nurse practitioners to perform these abortions.

Sen. Lou Correa, D-Anaheim, joined Republicans in voting against the bill, while three senators did not vote: Republicans Bill Emmerson of Redlands and Mark Wyland of Escondido; and Democrat Ben Hueso of San Diego.

Bill May of Catholics for the Common Good says the bill was approved even though polling data shows California residents oppose allowing nurses to do abortions.

“In a recent poll of California voters, across all demographics—men, women, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Democrats, Republican, Independents—by a 65-29 margin, the idea of allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to conduct abortions is rejected. By an even greater margin, 76-18, voters reject the notion of also giving nurse midwives the ability to provide abortions,” he said.  “The poll, which surveyed 600 registered voters in April 2013, was conducted by Smith-Johnson Research of Sacramento with a sampling error of +/- 4%. See full survey

“As to why voters reject the change in the law, the survey puts the answer squarely on public concerns over safety. By a 66-15 margin, voters believe replacing doctors with nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives will make abortions less safe and put women’s health at risk, ” May said.

“It’s no secret that the Catholic Church opposes abortion, but this bill is particularly cynical,” said Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. “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.”

“It’s clear,” said Dolejsi, “that the overwhelming majority of Californians share our concerns.”

“California has the most abortions in the nation and the highest rate per capita. But that is not good enough for the abortion business,” says California Right to Life. “Assembly Bill 154 will no longer require that abortions be done by physicians, but allow mid-wives, nurses, and nurse practitioners to use the powerful instruments of death throughout the state.”

The group is also opposing Assembly Bill 980, which it says will remove the current requirements that abortion be done in a medically surgical and antiseptic setting, but allow them to be done in facilities like the ‘walk-in’ counseling rooms now so popular in drug stores and pharmacies. None of the medical safety or even plumbing of current abortion centers will be required.

“If these bills pass, there will be higher medical standards for animal abortions; yes, veterinarians must provide better safety and cleanliness standards than Planned Parenthood is proposing,” it says.

Brian Johnston of the California Pro-Life Council is also calling for the abortion bill to be defeated.

“Assembly Bill 154 will no longer require that abortions be done by physicians, but allow mid-wives, nurses, and nurse practitioners to use the powerful instruments of death throughout the state,” he said. “And it gets worse, a companion Planned Parenthood bill, Assembly Bill 980, will remove the current requirements that human abortion be done in a medically surgical and antiseptic setting, but allow them to be done in facilities like the ‘walk-in’ counseling rooms now so popular in drug stores and pharmacies. None of the medical safety or even plumbing of current abortion centers will be required.”

“If these bills pass, there will be higher medical standards for animal abortions; yes, veterinarians must provide better safety and cleanliness standards than Planned Parenthood is proposing,” he added.

“California abortion is on the verge of MASSIVE expansion. Will you pray to stop this? Will you call your legislator? Will you help us spread the word?” he continued.

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that makes it so nurses in California can do abortions, even though they do not have a valid medical license certifying them as a physician. Brown, a Democrat, visited a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to sign another bill related to birth control and he also signed the abortion measure into law.

Senate Bill 623, by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, was supported by Planned Parenthood and opposed by pro-life groups. Introduced by Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), it extended a program run by the University of California, San Francisco, in which nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians assistants are trained to perform abortions.

The last days of the California legislative session saw abortion backers fight to expand abortion, while ignoring the severe economic crisis California continues to face. Lawmakers took an unrelated book and inserted language in it from a failed measure to allow nurses to do abortions.

Kehoe claimed that the bill was necessary to fill gaps in the availability of abortion caused by the shortage of doctors in parts of the state. The bill went through three attempts before passage. Ms. Kehoe “gutted and amended” the bill after its introduction, which raised some protest from other members of the Senate. This spring, a Senate committee rejected an attempt to pass a broader bill allowing non-physicians to perform abortions. In the end, a narrower version of the bill was passed. Rather than opening abortion to non-physicians generally, the bill focuses on extending a U.C. San Francisco program training physicians assistants and others to perform first trimester abortions.

This bill, along with a companion bill AB 980, are sponsored by Planned Parenthood and are seemingly geared to increase profitability of abortions at the expense of women’s health. AB 980 would downgrade standards for abortion clinics and the requirements for treating complications.