California Governor Gets Bill to Allow Nurses to Do Vacuum Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt, Cheryl Sullenger   |   Sep 12, 2013   |   4:38PM   |   Sacramento, CA

California Governor Jerry Brown has on his desk a bill that would allow nurses and other non-physicans to do vacuum aspiration abortions.

AB 154, that allows non-physicians to do these abortions, will exponentially increase the number of abortionsin California, pro-life groups worry. The California Pro-Life Council is one of several pro-life groups lobbynig the governor to veto the bill.

“This bill is not about helping women, it is specifically designed to trivialize what an abortion is, and its risks,” said Johnston. “The founder of National Abortion Rights Action League, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who subsequently became pro-life, says that vacuum aspiration abortion is inherently dangerous to the mother, as the physician must blindly probe for the baby.”

Johnston continues by saying “the California Business and Professions Code prohibits abortions being done on animals unless the abortionist is a trained and certified veterinary surgeon. If 154 is made law, a mother dog will have more dignity in the eyes of California law than a vulnerable young mother talked into an abortion by a Planned Parenthood staffer.”

The bill, which is being pushed by staunch abortion activists, would allow nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physician assistants (PAs) to conduct surgical “aspiration” or suction abortions of the kind generally used in the first trimester of pregnancy.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business has already injured women in botched abortions in California, even though they were done by licensed physicians.

The legislation was introduced by Assemblywomen Toni Adkins, the former administrator of a failed abortion business in San Diego. Adkins has long attempted to dangerously expand abortion services, once opening an abortion clinic in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood (using an abortionist that would later lose his medical license after killing a woman during a botched 20-week abortion) that soon closed due to financial mismanagement and lack of business. Apparently not one to learn from failure, Adkins is now expanding abortion in an ever-decreasing market, through the use of non-physicians.

Adkin’s legislation is the result of a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco by the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in association with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) for the purpose of proving that non-physician abortion are safe. The study recruited NPs, CNMs, and PAs for training in surgical abortions under a state waiver that exempted participants from the law that banned non-physicians from performing abortions.

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.

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.

ACTION: Contact Governor Brown to veto the bill at

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160