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
The following is a statement by our Founder and President, Eleanor Smeal, on the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Feminist Majority Foundation calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct a thorough, unbiased investigation into the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
The killing of Michael Brown and the blundered, militarized response by law enforcement to the call for justice is a tragic reminder that in many African American communities across the nation, the police themselves can be a threat.
Given the distrust of the police by the local African American community, the close ties between the St. . . .