Daily Dispatches
California Gov. Jerry Brown
Associated Press/Photo by Lenny Ignelzi
California Gov. Jerry Brown

Vital Signs: California gets nurse abortionists


Unqualified? California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday allowing nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early abortions. The bill also will let certain nurses perform aspiration abortions, which involve inserting a tube into the uterus and sucking out the baby’s body parts during the first trimester. Previously, nurses in California were only allowed to administer medicine to induce an abortion. The law will go into effect Jan. 1. 

Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and New Hampshire already allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform abortions. Supporters of the bill said it would prevent women from having to travel long distances to have the procedure. 

Republican lawmakers argued that medical professionals who aren’t doctors lack the training and experience to perform the procedure and said the new rule will increase risk to patients. The California Catholic Conference, which represents bishops throughout the state, said the law will create a two-tiered healthcare system, separating those who can afford physicians and hospitals for abortion procedures from those who cannot. 

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Rev. Gerald Wilkerson of Los Angeles said in a statement, “With this change in California’s law, abortions are merely legal—no longer safe and … rare.”

Too young to have an abortion. The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled 5-2 last Friday that a 16-year-old girl needs permission from at least one of her foster parents before she can have an abortion. 

The girl, referred to in court documents as Anonymous 5, became a ward of the state after leaving an abusive home in 2011. She told the court she was not capable of being “the right mom that [she] would like to be right now.” She was 10 weeks along in her pregnancy at the time and was afraid she would lose her foster placement if her foster parents, who are religious, learned about her pregnancy.

When the court asked her if she would risk killing her child rather than have problems with her foster parents, she said yes. The court decided it was not in the girl’s best interest to allow her to have an abortion without the knowledge of at least one of her foster parents. 

Reversing abortion insurance. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., introduced the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act today in response to Obamacare’s approval for federally subsidized healthcare plans that allow for secret abortion coverage. If insurance companies aren’t required to disclose the coverage, anyone who signs up for a federally subsidized healthcare plan could end up with elective abortion coverage, paying at least $1 per month to fund the procedures. 

The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act is intended to “require prominent, transparent disclosure of abortion coverage for each plan offered on an exchange.” Ultimately, pro-life congressmen want to enact the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act which prohibits the federal government from offering such plans. But until then, Smith and his co-sponsors want to make sure the plans that do offer abortion coverage are transparent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alissa Robertson
Alissa Robertson


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