When members of a large, lucrative industry complain that over-regulation is killing them, society’s response is usually that they need to suck it up—put some of their profits into fixing their compliance problems. If you can’t comply with the law, too bad for you. You’re out of business. This is especially true when the regulations are basic, common sense health and safety concerns.
But this line of reasoning is apparently lost on members of the California Legislature who recently voted to pass AB 154, a bill that would allow non-physicians to commit aspiration abortions, and who also approved AB 980, a bill that removes common sense regulations for abortion clinics from the building code. Apparently the multimillion dollar abortion industry is entitled to a special pass.
Supporters of these measures claim that California has a problem with “access to reproductive healthcare” because there are not enough abortion providers, particularly in rural communities. The deregulation of clinics and the licensing of non-physicians is a direct attempt to achieve more abortion “access” throughout the state. The fact that 99% of California women live in counties with abortion providers, and that California’s abortion rate is already 40% higher than the national average has apparently failed to persuade lawmakers that they are headed the wrong direction.
According to Nina Martin at ProPublica, abortion proponents admit that California’s deregulation of the abortion industry is a deliberate step away from the approach taken by numerous states to more strictly regulate abortion (such as Pennsylvania, which passed stricter clinic regulations in 2011 in response to the discovery of the Kermit Gosnell house of horrors). Proponents claim that a recent study from the University of California-San Francisco proves non-physician abortion is safe. In the study, the complication rate from non-physician abortion was compared to the complication rate for physician-performed abortion, and claim that there was a low complication rate for both (.9 percent for doctors and 1.8 for non-physicians). Proponents ignore the fact that non-physician abortion resulted in approximately twice the rate of complication. The study further failed to account for the fact that it was performed in a controlled environment where physicians oversaw the procedures and were on hand to screen the complicated cases. When non-physicians are out there doing abortions on their own, the rate of complication can be expected to go up astronomically.
The flaws in the study and the legislation that has resulted from it are numerous. David Andrusko at National Right to Life describes the study as encompassing “huge flaws” and explains the University of California San Francisco was effectively “greasing the skids for the law with a bogus study.”
Both Andrusko and Martin agree that this law would likely result in an enormous abortion expansion, leaving one to wonder if California’s lawmakers really think more abortion is a good thing for the state. Sadly, it will be women and unborn children who will suffer the dire consequences of their irresponsibility in choosing to deregulate and expand an irresponsible, unsafe industry.
Action Item: Both AB 154 and AB 980 are on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. Call or write to his office today and ask him to protect women by vetoing these harmful bills.