Assembly Bill 154, written by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), will allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified midwives to perform abortions within the first 12 weeks of a woman's pregnancy. The bill requires that those performing abortions are in contact with supervising physicians, but physicians will not actually have to be present for the procedure. Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Vermont have similar laws.
The bill aims to expand access to abortion in rural areas where a lack of doctors and clinics makes it difficult to obtain the procedure. More than half of the counties in California do not have an abortion provider. Atkins said in a press release, "Timely access to reproductive health services is critical to women's health. AB 154 will ensure that no woman has to travel excessively long distances or wait for long periods in order to obtain an early abortion."
The bill is sponsored by the California Medical Association and the California Women's Health Alliance, a coalition of groups such as Planned Parenthood, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Black Women for Wellness.
Media Resources: Assemblymember Toni Atkins Press Releases 8/26/2013, 8/30/2013; California Legislative Information; Los Angeles Times 8/30/2013
3/6/2014 Senate Rejects Qualified Obama Nominee to Lead DOJ Civil Rights Division - The US Senate blocked President Obama's nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice.
Senators voted 47-52 yesterday in opposition to Debo Adegbile, a highly qualified attorney who worked in private practice at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before holding several leadership positions at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including Director of Litigation, Acting President, Director-Counsel, and Special Counsel, and serving as senior counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
Adegbile is a voting rights expert. . . .