May 30, 2013 — The California Assembly on Tuesday approved a measure (AB 154) that would allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician's assistants to perform aspiration abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, AP/San Jose Mercury News reports. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Assembly member Toni Atkins (D), who proposed the bill, said it would expand abortion access to areas of the state that do not have abortion providers.
Opponents of the measure said allowing non-physician clinicians to provide abortions would increase risks to patients. Atkins responded that data from a pilot program in the state demonstrate that error rates are low among both physicians and non-physicians who perform abortions (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/28).