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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Expand Abortion Access

A new bill will allow more California nurses to perform abortions during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday that will expand access to abortions in California.

The legislation, known as AB 154, broadens the categories of trained healthcare employees who may perform early abortions.

Professionals including nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants will be allowed to perform procedures known as “aspiration abortions” during the first trimester.

These “aspiration abortions” involve inserting a tube and using suction to terminate a pregnancy.

AB 154 was drafted by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego.

Oregon, Montana, Vermont and New Hampshire have already implemented similar laws.

Currently, more than half of California’s counties do not have access to abortion providers.

“Timely access to reproductive health services is critical to women’s health,” Atkins said in a press release. “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.”

Atkins said she appreciates the governor’s support of women’s health.

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