For the second time, a bill that allows non-doctors to do abortions was defeated at the California state legislature – though the sponsor of the measure promises to try again. The bill was stopped in one legislative committee after another approved it.
SB 1338 was voted out of the Senate Public Safety Committee on a party line vote with Democrats approving and Republicans voting no. But, the measure to allow nurses to kill unborn children through vacuum-suction abortions was later stopped in a Democrat-controlled panel on a surprising vote.
Democratic Senator Christine Kehoe of San Diego failed to get enough votes in the nine-member Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. The bill was then re-referred to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development but Kehoe pulled the bill on Friday after it appears she would not get enough votes today.
Kehoe was not able to get any Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee members, who had previously voted against the bill, to change their votes. San Diego Sen. Juan Vargas, a Democrat on the committee, had been under pressure from abortion backers to support the measure. But he voted no as did Sen Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach. Supporters could not turn up a fifth vote before Monday’s hearing.
Kehoe said she would try to bring back the measure at some point in the future.
“The issue of access to early abortion care for women across California remains an important issue and we will continue to review our options for ensuring that all women have access to care by providers they know and trust in the communities where they live,” she said.
Bill May, chairman of Catholics for the Common Good, applauded the news that the pro-abortion legislation failed, and credited pro-life advocates with flooding the legislature with calls and emails against it.
“It is important to let legislators know we are paying attention and appreciate it when they do something good, especially on a bill as important as this one,” he said. “Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (R-Fresno), a board-certified physician and surgeon, has been an outspoken opponent of the bill bringing focus to how it would have compromised women’s health. She strongly argued in testimony and in the media that only medical doctors have the training to handle complications that can come up during the course of an abortion. She should also receive calls and emails of appreciation.”
May added, “The Democrats who voted against SB 1338 deserve particularly high praise because of the tremendous pressure they came under. Planned Parenthood even picketed the office of Senator Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) and ran advertising against him, but he and Senator Lou Correa (D- Santa Ana) held firm.”
May urges calls of support for these members:
Senator Lou Correa (D- Santa Ana) (916) 651-4034
Senator Juan Vargas (D- Chula Vista, El Centro, Indio) (916) 651-4040
Senator Bill Emmerson (R- Riverside, Palm Desert) (916) 651-4037, [email protected]
Senator Mark Wyland (R- Carlsbad, San Joan Capistrano) (916) 651-4038
Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, MD (R- Fresno) (916) 319-2029
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Assemblyman Brian Jones, who represents the same district as Kehoe, said, “This whole thing is cloaked in deceit.”
Though sponsors say allowing more unlicensed people to perform abortions will give women in rural areas more access to them, “I have not had one constituent come to me and say ‘Will you please make it easier for us to get abortions?”, he said.
“Medical safety should be of more concern than easy access to abortion in rural areas. If qualified physicians are not available there now, how is a woman’s safety improved by affording her an aspiration abortion with its potential for a punctured uterus? Medical emergency vehicles from neighboring hospitals have been seen at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Orange County,” LPN added. “How close is the nearest hospital in rural areas?”