June 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ana Sandoval, PPAC Communications, 916.446.5247 or
Amy Moy, California Family Health Council, 415.518.4465
Yes on AB 2348
SEIU joins growing list of health groups
supporting access to birth control
SACRAMENTO -- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has joined the growing number of health care organizations supporting the Access to Birth Control Bill, AB 2348 (Mitchell). SEIU California, which represents more than 35,000 nurses in California, said it supports the legislation "because it would increase access to women's health care, helps our members and all people of California." Read SEIU CA's support letter here (PDF).
Across the state, thousands of women lack access to birth control, leaving them at significant risk of unintended pregnancy. Even in California many women have to wait for hours in medical offices or weeks for an appointment because of a shortage of health professionals authorized to dispense contraception.
"Planned Parenthood's mission has always been to increase access to safe birth control," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. "That's why we are sponsoring the Access to Birth Control Bill. If California is going to continue to lead the nation in access to reproductive health, we have to remove barriers that prevent all women from having access to the services they want and they need. AB 2348 does that without compromising quality care."
“California Family Health Council champions and promotes quality sexual and reproductive health care for all. We are thrilled to have SEIU nurses across the state join us in supporting AB 2348 to increase timely access to birth control and help women reduce their risk of unintended pregnancy,” said California Family Health Council's president and CEO, Julie Rabinovitz. “We trust nurses can safely and effectively dispense hormonal contraceptives. This care is well within their scope and training and makes perfect sense in our shifting health care delivery system.”
AB 2348 would make contraception more widely available by authorizing registered nurses to dispense birth control under a standardized procedure. Simply put, after taking a routine health assessment, a registered nurse would be able to dispense hormonal birth control, some of the safest and widely used medications in the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), have developed evidence-based guidelines for use of hormonal contraceptives which are based on patient assessment, medical history, blood pressure, history of smoking and other basic elements that are well within the skills, training and scope of practice of RNs.
AB 2348 is sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the California Family Health Council. In addition to SEIU California, the bill has backing of a broad coalition of health and women's organizations including United Nurses Association of CA/Union of Healthcare Professionals; California Primary Care Association; American Nurses Association, California; American Medical Women’s Association, Women’s Community Clinic; Black Women's Health Project; California Latinas for Reproductive Justice; Black Women for Wellness; Women's Health Specialists; ACCESS Women's Health Justice, National Center for Youth Law; Sistersong; American Civil Liberties Union, California; and Physicians for Reproductive Choice & Health.
AB 2348 is expected to heard June 25 before the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.
California Family Health Council (CFHC) distributes federal Title X family planning funding to nearly 80 health care organizations throughout the state that collectively serve over 1.2 million Californians with sexual and reproductive health care services every year. CFHC also conducts advanced research in reproductive health technologies, leads health education, training and community outreach efforts and advocates to expand access to quality sexual and reproductive health care for all Californians. http://www.cfhc.org
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is a 501 (c) 4 organization, representing eight separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout California on statewide governmental issues. PPAC is one of 21 state public affairs offices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education. http://www.PPactionCA.org