California bill would allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions without physicians

On Aug. 30, California's Senate passed legislation allowing nurse practitioners to perform first trimester abortions without supervising physicians. 

Qualifying nurse practitioners have been able to perform first-trimester abortions in the state with physician supervision since 2013, but they have been able to care for patients without supervision only since 2020, according to an Aug. 30 news release from state Sen. Toni Atkins. The new bill would combine these laws and would expand abortion care as the state suffers a physician shortage, the release said. 

First-trimester abortions are just as safe when nurse practitioners perform them as compared to physicians, according to a 2013 University of California San Francisco study. If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the bill, California will become the 10th state to allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions unsupervised. 

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