Non-physicians allowed to perform abortions in California
The California Senate voted last week to pass a bill allowing non-physicians to perform aspiration abortions. Senate Bill 623, introduced by Christine Kehoe, a Democratic state senator from San Diego, extends a program run by the University of California, San Francisco, in which nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians assistants are trained to perform abortions.
“This bill was originally created to regulate boat paint,” said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Now it’s regulating and destroying human lives.”
Ms. 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.
For months, the Life Legal Defense Foundation has been tracking down information on the U.C. San Francisco program. Earlier this year, they filed a Writ of Mandate to compel disclosure with a public records request for complete information.
“There have been numerous attempts to resist records requests, leaving us wondering what they have to hide,” said Katie Short, Legal Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
“It is important for Californians to find out what is being done in this training program – who are the abortionists conducting the training? How many women are being injured by these non-physician abortionists?”
The Life Legal Defense Foundation also created a fact sheet about non-physician abortions.