Communications director for state’s bishops wonders what the legislature could be thinking

The following item was posted April 10 on the blog of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops. It was written by Carol Hogan, the conference’s director of pastoral projects and communications.

Why would a bill that proposes to reduce the standard of medical care for women — especially women who are poor or of a minority ethnicity — enjoy the support of many members of the California Legislature? It is a question I posed to the author of that bill.

But wait — a staffer in the author’s office argues — it isn’t actually reducing the standard of care to allow a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant to perform the procedure — instead of a physician or surgeon. There was a pilot program where such non-physicians actually did the procedure (of course, under current law a physician had to be directly supervising them) and everything worked out just fine. So, now is the time to remove that direct supervision and allow the non-physicians to perform the procedure when no physician is present.

What procedure could we possibly be talking about that is so safe and inconsequential that is acceptable to lower the standard of care? Perhaps it is ingrown toenail surgery. Or ear wax removal. Or a tonsillectomy? All of those currently require a physician or surgeon to either perform the procedure or directly supervise it. No. Those aren’t the procedures in question.

You probably have guessed by now that the “procedure” in question is abortion, which is certainly not an inconsequential procedure — and one which has the potential for serious, life-threatening complications.

SB 1338, authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), would allow nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to perform aspirational and medical abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy — without the presence of a physician or surgeon — because there are cities and counties in California where no licensed physician offers abortions. The Senator’s sole justification for the bill is to enhance women’s access to “choice.”

Abortion under any circumstances harms a woman and kills a new human life. It is the result of the failure of our society, her family, and the man who impregnated her to support her and welcome her baby. Making abortion more accessible under the rubric of choice diminishes the moral import of a life-changing decision.

So, the question remains. How is the proposed legislation not a discriminatory reduction in the standard of care for women? Not only does it reduce the standard of care for women, but the lower standards will primarily affect women who are poor or of a minority ethnicity.



Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:32 AM By JMJ
With abortion being “legal”, it meant that the back-alley murderer could put his sign out front, now, with this new hideous bill, they won’t even need a sign or a place of business, as they could set up shop on a park bench to make it easier for a mother to kill her (God’s) child. +JMJ+

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:11 AM By ANNE
The truth is that these pro-abortion, pro-chemical and pro-mechanical contraceptive politicians HATE women. This is not health care, but health destruction. It first destroys the Body and then the Soul. It is sinful to vote these politicians into office.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:48 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Abortion indeed does have “the potential for serious, life-threatening complications.” My own Norwegian Protestant grandmother, dead at 23 from a botched abortion, could affirm that for you were she still among the living. In fact, of the two or more people involved in every abortion, over half of them die, as death for one or more of them is indeed the end goal and result of each operation. With the extremely rare exception, may I add, of the nearly-murdered children who in fact survive attempted abortions. I wonder how it feels to be the mother (or father, for that matter, or grandparent) of a child who lives, breathes, walks around and dares to speak whom the adults attempted to kill, but who survived instead.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:53 AM By Sandra
The insanity in CA continues. Who put all of these wackos in charge?–oh, I forgot–the California voters!!

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:36 AM By Dave Mittman, PA
I am a PA. I am also not Catholic but Jewish. I am anti-abortion in almost every situation. I needed to tell you those things because I felt it necessary to point out that the above editorial goes down a very slippery slope. Why? Because PA and nurse practitioner care has been in almost every circumstance shown to equal or even be better than the the care delivered by physicians. No, we do not need direct supervision to do medical procedures and even mores, many PAs and NPs do complex procedures daily. To equate a lower standard of care to us, with no studies backing you up is unfair and worse erroneous. I wish you all a joyful day. Dave

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:43 AM By Tm
As a doctor, I’d like commend you for an excellent article. This proposed bill defies all logic. It follows other unbelievable irrational state laws, such as the voter approved 2008 state proposition that allowed minors to get an abortion without parental consent.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:45 AM By Camille
The author of this bill and her legislative co-authors are attentive only to the agenda and goals of a very radical left Feminist cohort. To them it is within the role of women to be the givers and takers of life. In their minds it is the ultimate control, the ultimate human power. The bill will be heard in the Business and Professions Committee on April 16. Please contact this committee before then – 916-651-4104. Even the fact that it is in this committee indicates that the author does not look upon abortion as a health issue, but rather a jobs expansion bill.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:31 AM By Mary Ann Eiler
Given the abortion industry’s roots in the eugenic movement, this is exactly what is to be expected: reduce quality services to poor, ethnic women; the risks they will run will go sky high, and more of them and their children will not survive. It’s evil.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:57 AM By Abeca Christian
Yes makes sense. Disgusting how they want to go back to the days where people where aborting in their own homes. Some died because of it. This is what they want. The pro-choice arguments use to be against this but now they take it back and think, there is nothing wrong with that. How about if a woman does it herself, would that be OK too? Who do we blame now? Who do they sue for that? After all this is California a sue happy state with frivolous lawsuits! But wait, I forgot, the abortion industry is protected against lawsuits.

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:57 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Kehoe and her ilk worship at the altar of abortion, and we can probably blame the Catholics of San Diego how voted for her because she was a Democrat (Demoncrat). God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:08 AM By pat
PAs can and do routinely perform ear wax removal and ingrown toenail removal without direct physician supervision!!!!!!!! Procedurally, PAs perform endometrial biopsies and IUD insertions which require many of the same skills as early surgical abortions. Whether you believe in this or not, the precedent is there and the nature of the provider has never proven to be an issue. Vermont has been doing this for decades/

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:10 AM By Abeca Christian
Dave Mittman, PA speaks like a true professional, why? Well because he uses the words Medical procedures. When did abortion become a medical procedure? Abortion is not medicine, it is not health, it is murder! Mr. Dave I doubt that you are against abortion, why come here and sound like you support this? You do come here sounding like that and what good are you doing by making such statements? Are you indirectly trying to back this up? It’s not like we are asking for medical personnel visit homes for a cold, breast feeding lessons etc, we are talking about performing AN Abortion, something more serious and deadly!

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:28 AM By Deacon Jason
Please dont criticize Dave. He stated he is anti abortion at the onset. He justly says we should not criticize the competence of nurse practitioners, which is supported by research. For REAL medical procedures, that is a good thing because it increases access and reduces costs for common medical procedures. The real problem as another commentor pointed out is abortion is NOT a real medical procedure. It is akin to making nurse practitioners executioners that can administer lethal injections. where this will hurt nurses is they will find themselves in situations where they will be forced to do this. so even more care profesionals will have to violate their consciences.