2013 Highlighted Bills
AB 154 - (Assemblymember Toni Atkins)
Assembly Bill 154 will address the current shortage of health care professionals able to provide early abortion care in California. It will authorize trained Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to provide comprehensive first trimester abortion care, which is within the scope of their licenses.
Expands access to early abortion services in California
Reflects the best scientific research
Minimizes targeted statutory regulation of abortion
Reaffirms California’s leadership on women’s health issues as anti-choice legislation sweeps the nation
The need for change:
Early abortion access is a critical public health issue. An estimated one in three women will decide to terminate a pregnancy by age 45, yet many women often do not have sufficient access to early abortions because of the limited number of physicians providing the services in their communities. Almost half of the counties in California have no accessible abortion provider, requiring women to travel significant distances to terminate a pregnancy or wait for an appointment for services.
Even in those counties where abortion services are geographically accessible, long wait times and overburdened clinics result in delays for some women. These barriers can result in women delaying care until later stages of pregnancy, when a more complicated and expensive procedure is needed.
The lack of access effects urban and rural women alike. By authorizing trained health professionals who are competent to provide care, this measure would allow women to receive care locally from advanced trained practitioners they already know and trust through a more responsive health care delivery system.
Evidence supports safety of early abortion by advanced trained practitioners. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health conducted a comprehensive multi-year study to train and evaluate NPs, CNMs and PAs in the provision of first trimester abortion.
AB 154 is supported by the California Women’s Health Alliance. The California Women's Health Alliance comprises more than 20 organizations that are dedicated to protecting and improving women’s reproductive health in the state.
- ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
- Black Women for Wellness
- California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
- NARAL Pro-Choice California
- Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
- ACT for Women and Girls of Tulare County
- Bay Area Communities for Health Education
- California Church IMPACT
- California Family Health Council
- Cardea Institute
- Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice
- Choice USA
- Forward Together
- Fresno Barrios Unidos
- National Health Law Program
- Nevada County Citizens For Choice
- Physicians for Reproductive Choice & Health
- Women's Community Clinic
- Women's Health Specialists of California