Early Access to Abortion (AB 154)

Author: Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins

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AB 154 will improve abortion access by increasing the types of trained health professionals who can provide early abortions. The bill will authorize nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early abortions safely within the terms of their licenses.

More than half of California's counties lack an accessible abortion provider. As a result, many women delay treatment because they have to travel long distances or raise money for transportation and services. Women in both rural and urban areas of the state face barriers to access. AB 154 can also helps to address barriers such as long wait times for appointments that woman in urban areas face when seeking abortion services.

AB 154 removes barriers to care by allowing specially trained health professionals to provide early abortions in the communities they serve. This means that women can safely get the care they need in their own communities from health providers they already know and trust. A study conducted at UCSF and recently published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that specially trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants safely provided high quality early abortions.

AB 154 is sponsored by the ACLU of California, along with ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, Black Women for Wellness, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. The bill is supported by the California Women’s Health Alliance, which comprises more than 30 women’s health and rights groups that support improving access to women’s reproductive health care.