California Bill Would Allow Nurses To Perform Abortions In The First 12-Weeks of Pregnancy

A California bill that recently passed in the Assembly and the State Senate would allow non-physicians to perform abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy.

The bill, which is currently waiting for the approval of amendments before it goes to Governor Jerry Brown, would permit nurses, certified midwives and physician assistants to perform "manual vacuum aspiration abortions." Nurses would first be trained in this type of abortion, implemented during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The procedure involves inserting a small tube into the uterus that vacuums out fetal tissue.

Proponents of the bill believe that it will increase access to abortions in the early stages of pregnancy and decrease abortions in the latter stages (which are more expensive and dangerous). In order to be certified to conduct the procedure, non-physicians would have to complete at least 40 procedures under direct supervision and receive an assessment of competence.

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, the author of the bill, explained that more than half of California counties lack an abortion provider.

In a statement to the Huffington Post Atkins said,

"All women should have timely access to reproductive health care, regardless of whether they live in urban or rural areas and without excessive expense or travel."

Conversely, opponents of the Atkins' bill claim that it presents health risks. In addition, they say that more providers are not needed because California already has the highest rate of abortion in the United States.

...Uh, wouldn't that mean there is a need for more certified professionals? And furthermore, a University of California study found that trained nurses who perform early abortion procedures are just as safe as getting abortions from a certified physician. These heartless opponents are probably the same people who don't believe in science, so we'll just leave them to be burned once global warming finally takes over.

While this may seem revolutionary, non-physicians are allowed to perform aspiration abortions in four other states: Montana, Oregon, New Hampshire and Vermont. So far, so good.

We're hoping this bill passes and successfully improves the care of abortions for women. Like we always say, "if you can't support it, time to abort it!"

Via Huffington Post, Top Photo Courtesy: Nerve