California Bills Remove Common Sense Safety Regulations from Abortion

Abortion clinics have proven over and over again that they are willing to sacrifice the safety of women to increase their own bottom line. Reports of this type of egregious wrongdoing by abortion providers (such as Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, Douglas Karpen in Houston, Planned Parenthood in Delaware, and New Women All Women in Birmingham) have spurred some lawmakers to consider tighter regulations on abortion clinics within their states. But the lesson has apparently been lost on California lawmakers.

The California legislature is currently considering two bills that will eliminate safety regulations applied to abortion clinics within the state, AB 154 and AB 980.

In AB 154, California seeks to allow non-physicians to perform abortions. Read LLDF’s opposition to this bill here. The bill passed the Senate Business and Professions Committee 8-2, and is currently set for hearing in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

In AB 980, (Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)), would remove basic building and safety regulations currently imposed on abortion clinics.

Not only does the law reduce building code standards for abortion clinics, it specifically repeals regulations that require the following safety items in clinics where abortions are performed: (1)  Standard gynecological examination table; (2) Pharyngeal suction equipment; (3) Oxygen source and mask; (4) Surgical instruments necessary for the performance of the abortion; (5) Emergency medications; (6) Appropriate intravenous fluids. It further requires repeal of adequate floor space requirements, the requirement of a post-abortion recovery area, a private counseling area, and room for storage of patient clothing and personal items. All of these requirements are basic, common sense attempts to make women safe. Dana Cody, LLDF’s President and Executive Director, comments, “Imagine undergoing invasive surgery in a clinic that is not even required to have the instruments necessary for the performance of the abortion? What about having an IV ready if needed? According to Assembly member Pan, that’s not something abortion clinics should be required to provide.”

The evidence of abortionists routinely cutting corners and failing to abide by basic health standards would justify far greater regulation than is currently in place in California. There is no evidence of enhanced safety in abortion procedures that would justify removing these regulations. By cutting both basic clinic regulations while simultaneously expanding the medical professionals who can perform abortions to include non-physicians (such as nurse practitioners and midwives), California has dealt a double-blow to clinic safety.

“The only thing more shocking than the horror stories pouring out of abortion clinics is the California legislature’s willingness to ignore this evidence and remove clinic regulations!” States Dana Cody, President of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Women deserve better.”

Action Item: Contact the California Senate Health Committee, and urge members to protect women by voting no on AB 980 and on AB 154.