California Removes Basic Safety Regulations at Abortion Clinics

On September 12, 2013, the California legislature passed AB 980, a bill that would “require the State Department of Public Health…to repeal certain regulations relating to abortion services in primary care clinics.” (See Legislative Counsel’s Digest.) According to the California Catholic Conference, “AB 980 will allow…first-trimester abortions performed by mid-level clinicians to occur in substandard facilities—those built and furnished for primary care, not surgery.”

AB 980 is the second bill to pass the legislature this year that would significantly reduce the safety measures applicable to abortion. Through passage of AB 154, the state expanded non-physician aspiration abortion, thereby allowing non-physicians such as nurse practitioners and midwives to perform the procedure. As LLDF has pointed out, bills aimed at de-regulating abortion are not in the best interest of women. By cutting basic clinic regulations while simultaneously expanding the pool of medical professionals who can perform abortions to include non-physicians, California has dealt a double-blow to clinic safety and ultimately to the safety of women.

Action Item: Contact Governor Jerry Brown and urge him to veto both AB 154 and AB 980. Californians deserve better than substandard care by unqualified professionals in unregulated clinics.