June 7, 2012
Published in the San Jose Mercury News on 6/7/2012 - Read the Full Article Here
Nearly every day at the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte health center in Hayward, where I work as a nurse practitioner, there are patients lined up out the door. This is often true at health centers in Silicon Valley and, especially, in California's Central Valley. The acute shortage of physicians serving community clinics means that many people have to wait weeks or months for basic services and medications -- and contraceptives are at the top of that list.
However, the state Assembly just passed a bill, AB2348 by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-L.A., that would alleviate some of this problem by allowing registered nurses to dispense birth control under a carefully developed medical protocol. The Access to Birth Control Bill, which now moves to the Senate, is a sensible and practical solution that would make a huge difference to teens, women and families who can least afford contraceptives and are most at risk for unintended pregnancies.
In fact, nationally, health centers that receive federal funding for family planning have seen a 5 percent increase in patients since the recession began four years ago. Continue reading this article>>