Two bills introduced in the legislature this week would bolster California’s status as an abortion haven: one expanding who can provide abortions and the other protecting data privacy of those seeking care.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 385, which would permit physician assistants to conduct first trimester surgical abortions without a doctor’s supervision — echoing a law that went into effect earlier this year, which allows nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to do the same.
Introduced by Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Oakland), the second bill, Assembly Bill 793, would prevent California law enforcement agencies from ordering “reverse warrants” from tech companies, which lead to wide swaths of data being provided on who drove down a particular street, for instance, or searched a particular term. Usage of the warrants to pursue criminal activity has grown over the years, and advocates worry the technology could be used against abortion-seekers or families with transgender children looking for care that aligns with their gender identity.
The authors of these two proposed laws say they’re steps toward cementing the reality of an accessible, private abortion to state residents and those who come from out of state to get the procedure and any related care….
Senate President Pro Tem Atkins, a long-time advocate for reproductive freedom, put forward SB 385 on Monday, which builds on legislation she’s authored over the past decade. Atkins drafted the amendment that became Proposition 1 – enshrining the right to an abortion in the state constitution, which was approved with 65% of the vote last November.
“Now it’s our job as legislators to make sure that we are broadening real access, real ability to get the procedure, whether it’s medication abortion or aspiration abortion,” Atkins said….
SB 385 would lower barriers for physician assistants to be trained in providing first-trimester abortions and allow them without a doctor’s supervision. Atkins says access to the procedure needs to be expanded so people in rural areas don’t have to travel far to get needed health care.
“We have a lack of providers in the healthcare field, in OBGYN, so we want to incentivize training through our university hospitals. We want to make sure that they’re actually going to be providers,” Atkins said.
Full story at capradio.org.