As opposition mounts, all-out effort under way to pressure legislators to vote for bill allowing abortions by non-physicians

Proponents of a bill that would allow non-physicians to perform abortions in California are going to extraordinary lengths to pressure the legislature in anticipation of a crucial April 26 hearing on the measure.

Late last week, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California began running radio ads in Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area targeting three Democratic senators who sit on the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. The committee is scheduled to take up the bill, SB 1338, on Thursday.

Among those targeted by the ads is Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, a former Jesuit seminarian who has said he personally opposes abortion but has consistently supported it in his long political career.

“We voted for him,” says Planned Parenthood’s ad. “Now we need him to go to work for us.”

Both as an assemblyman and a state senator, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly given Vargas high ratings. He is currently running for Congress in California’s 51st Congressional District, which runs along the US-Mexico border in San Diego and Imperial counties.

SB 1338 would allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform uterine aspiration abortions, a practice currently outlawed in California for non-physicians.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, says the measure is needed to increase the availability of abortion in areas of the state where the procedure is not readily available.

But the bill has met with some unexpected opposition, forcing repeated cancellations and rescheduling of committee hearings as Kehoe and other backers scurry to round up the votes they need before an April 27 legislative deadline for it to clear all committees.

The bill’s co-sponsors include Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, the ACLU of California, and ACCESS to Women’s Justice.

But SB 1338 supporters apparently did not anticipate opposition from a group that is usually their ally — the influential and politically powerful California Nurses Association. The CNA, which represents more than 86,000 nurses and nurse practitioners, has come out against the bill.

The nurses association called SB 1338 “ill-conceived and unnecessary,” and said it was “premature” because a study of the safety of allowing non-physicians to perform abortions is still under way.

Also on record in opposition to the bill is the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops.

“In the name of enhancing access, convenience and cost-savings, this bill will do nothing to make abortion ‘safe and rare,’” said a letter from the bishops opposing SB 1338.

In an April 21 opinion piece published in the Sacramento Bee, veteran political observer Margaret A. Bengs asked, “Why do we allow abortion to be the exception to the rule when it comes to women’s health and safety?”

“You don’t have to be anti-abortion to oppose this attempt to lower the standard of health care for women and girls based not on completed scientific evidence but on ideology and financial gain,” wrote Bengs.

Aspiration abortion, Bengs noted, “can cause serious complications,” among them “hemorrhage, incomplete abortions, infections, pelvic inflammatory disease that can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain, and failed abortion.”

Bengs said that four of the five organizations involved in the pilot study used to justify SB 1338 “are affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which advertises abortions for ‘between $300 and $950,’ and stands to gain financially from the legislation.”

In addition, Bengs pointed out in her column for the Bee, “The financial conflict of interest is underscored by the fact that among the organizations funding the pilot project is the John Merck Fund, which has also given generous grants to – surprise – the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Choice USA; the pro-choice David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and two anonymous foundations.”

SB 1338 is scheduled to be taken up first tomorrow in the Senate Public Safety Committee (because the bill provides penalties for violating the law). If it clears that committee, which is considered likely, it will then go to the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on April 26.



Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 4:55 AM By daryl
The political-economic model for this scandal is the Norwegian Whaling Industry, which would not exist without massive public subsidies wrung out of a passive and morally desensitized population. No one eats whale meat any more, so it is ground into meal to feed farmed mackerel. There is a positive feedback loop of the publicly subsidized industry making massive donations right back to the politicians who protect the industry. Same situation in the other whaling nations, Russia and Japan. In Russia, they use the whale meat, which costs about the equivalent of $20.00 a pound, to feed mink farms instead of using poultry and slaughter house scraps. In Japan, there are still some people who eat whale meat voluntarily. They acquired the taste perhaps because the national school system puts it in the mandatory school lunches. Still, most of the annual whale harvest goes to waste. Needless to say, in all these ecologically sensitive nations, abortion is also legal and easily obtained, family life and the population are on the decline. Mother Nature celebrates along with campaign fund recipients?

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 5:32 AM By Dana
Does planned parenthood have tax exempt status? Are they allowed to make such political maneuvers and keep it? If the churches are under such restrictions, why is a pernicious group of thugs allowed such power?

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 5:50 AM By St. Christopher
Satan never forgets a favor. Catholics like Sen. Vargas are to be pitied — “I am personally against abortion, but . . . Boo Hoo” — These people should be laughed at and voted against. Who wants a legislator that operates against his conscience, who violates his principal beliefs? Such politicians are no different than prostitutes, seeking favor for dedication of their personal favors: money and votes. And, good luck, almost-Father Vargas on the after-life. You will see many Catholic leaders, including many clergy, making the same argument to our Lord. Pretty soon Planned Parenthood will be arguing that school nurses should be giving kids abortions. This is completely and utterly shameful.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 6:30 AM By Germaine
California Nurses for Ethical Standards also opposes this bill, and sent the following letter to each member of the Business, Professions, and Economic committee: “We are writing to express our opposition to SB 1338. This bill, by amending our nursing Business and Professional Code to allow non-physicians to perform first trimester surgical abortions (vacuum extractions) and chemical abortions, lowers the standard of care for women. Standard of care means that the person performing the procedure must be trained not only to simply perform the procedure, but also to deal with complications that may arise. Serious complications related to surgical abortion such as hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, cervical injury, and shock can occur during surgical abortions (which includes vacuum extractions.) Even specifically trained surgeons and/or Ob/Gyns have a known expected complication rate of 3 to 6% in these procedures. When complications arise, a physician with a depth of training and hospital privileges, should be there to deal with them. The proposed legislation law does not require physician supervision of non-physicians performing this surgical procedure, even in remote areas. We, California Nurses for Ethical Standards, is asking you to please consider voting against SB 1338 which is promoting sub-standard care for women.”

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 6:47 AM By Laurette Elsberry
Just more of the corruption in the California Legislature showing their absolute committment to abortion at any cost. Why not just allow the office clerk or the janitor to do the abortions? What is also interesting about this plan to downgrade the critical medical aspect of this “procedure” (baby-killing) is that without the legal right to conduct these studies, they were done anyway so that now Planned Parenthood is saying, “see, it’s OK”. The entire profession of medicine is slipping badly; this bill is one example.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 7:40 AM By MARKRITE
This is (obviously) a deeply evil piece of legislation being foisted on California by the bloody leaders of the movement to continually expand the routes to destroying even more onborn preborns. And this at a time when Planned Murder Inc., aka PP, is enjoying less and less favoribility in the public mind, as witness all the various pro-life groups, even the House ofRrepresentatives in D.C., who are exploring various ways to cut off all public funding to PP, definitely a moment whose times has come. But even some of the pro-aborts realize the kind of guerilla tatics of even ALLOWING unlcensed “midwives” to kiill the unborn in what will ultimately ratchet down to TOTALLY “unsafe” (for the mothers who’ve come to them to murder their babes) conditions in very short order; GREED by PP is among the reasons that they’re even entertaining this delusional, depraved scheme to knock off even MORE, if possible, of the “unwanted” unborn. Total failure on them & I’ll pray unceasingly for that. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 7:56 AM By Camille
Please, anyone who lives in Sen. Vargas’ district, call and support his effort to resist Planned Parenthood’s demands and pray for him.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 8:56 AM By CalWalkr
It would appear that another “Catholic Pol” has sold his soul for the almighty $$$$. Now the devil has come to collect and his vote is the price. He truly is “owned” by PP. How in the world this former Jesuit Seminarian can look himself in the mirror each morning without feeling tremendous shame in all he once held sacred is a mystery.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 9:27 AM By Sarah
Would these same legislators vote to allow a non-physician to perform invasive surgery on a man’s reproductive organs? I doubt it, but they want to allow it to be done on women. Women deserve better.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 10:54 AM By Abeca Christian
Juan Vargas is a hypocrite! Many years ago, when he first time was running for another position, he promised many of the St. Rose of Lima parish faithful that he would stand up for life. But he never did, he actually went against his own promises. We know who this guys is very well and I am not proud of what he has become. The more we knew him, it was about him winning an election than standing up for his Catholic believes and many Hispanics are foolish to back him up!

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 10:59 AM By Abeca Christian
Please don’t trust this man. He voted before and has voted for some pro-choice options before. We can’t trust him! Chula Vista faithful who know him and one trusted him to vote Pro-life know very well how he turned on them and not keeping his promises. Learn and get your facts about him better because he is wishy washy, goes back and forth. I wish my friend who once ran for congress but lost several years ago, in my area would come here and expose him because she knew how he broke his promises on many pro-life issues.

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 11:09 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Vargas, yet another Jesuit trained for SATAN! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 11:33 AM By bud
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, says the measure is needed to increase the availability of abortion in areas of the state where the procedure is not readily available. OUTRAGEOUS! How dare a lesbian senator recommend a cheaper and more dangerous procedure without proper medical attendance. Is it to save money in those areas of the state to let “Unprofessionals” do Planned Parenthood’s dirty jobs on a higher than average “poor people” area??? All we need is to have t he Homosexual population’s representatives running planned parenthood activities!

Posted Monday, April 23, 2012 11:45 AM By OSCAR
Great – another Senator – Vargas who SUPPORTS abortion. Is his Diocese Bishop doing his job by talking to Vargas and then enforcing Canon 915? – or is this just one more “wink and a nod”?