SAN DIEGO – Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), fellow legislators and reproductive rights leaders from across the state gathered today in San Diego to celebrate Pro Tem Atkins’ bill signing SB 1375 into law , as well as more than a dozen additional pieces of legislation from the California Women’s Legislative Caucus. These laws will work together to support reproductive rights in California, expanding and protecting access to reproductive health for all who need it.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen in the Supreme Court and in statehouses across the nation what we’ve always feared: our reproductive freedom is not guaranteed. Together, the Women’s Legislative Caucus and our partners at the Council on the Future of Abortion have shown that in California, abortion is health care, plain and simple, and we will stand with patients and providers.” said Pro Tem Atkins. “The package of legislation we championed this session ensures that all people seeking essential reproductive care in our state will be able to access it in an affordable and timely manner. We will not leave Californians or anyone who comes here vulnerable to the whims of a dangerous minority who think a uterus makes someone incapable of making medical decisions about their own bodies.”
SB 1375 by Pro Tem Atkins, which was signed into law on September 27, would allow registered nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives to provide first-trimester abortions within the scope of their clinical and professional education and training without a doctor’s supervision. SB 1375 will expand access and affordability of abortion and health care services by increasing the number of nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives able to provide needed critical care, especially in marginalized and lower-income communities.
The bill follows Pro Tem Atkins’ AB 154, which became law in 2013 and allows qualified advanced practice providers to provide first-trimester abortions under the supervision of a physician. It also follows AB 890 (2020), which Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) has authorized to create opportunities for qualified nurse practitioners to provide patient care without physician supervision.
“The California Association of Nurse Practitioners is committed to ensuring that women and all Californians have access to the high-quality reproductive care and abortion services they need. CANP is proud to have sponsored SB 1375, working with Pro Tem Atkins to clarify existing laws so that trained and experienced nurses can provide this needed critical care without physician supervision. said Cynthia Jovanov, DNP, MBA, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC, President of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners. “We applaud Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill’s author and champion for reproductive health, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and members of the California State Legislature for their leadership and commitment to expanding access and making California a safer place for those who need care. Nurse practitioners will continue to advocate for legislation that connects the health care needs of communities and patients across California.
In addition to signing SB 1375, Governor Newsom also signed more than a dozen bills from the Women’s Legislative Caucus Reproductive Justice Policy Priority Package, each of which is consistent with recommendations outlined by the Council on the Future of Abortion in California to address barriers to reproductive health care and support equal and affordable access to abortion in the state. The 2022-2023 state budget also includes more than $200 million in key investments for reproductive rights. Earlier this year, Pro Tem Atkins also led efforts to authorize a constitutional amendment to explicitly protect the right to abortion and contraception in the California State Constitution. SCA 10 was approved by the Legislature on June 27 and will go before voters in November as Proposition 1.
“A right without access is just an empty promise. As a Latina from a traditionally marginalized community, I have seen firsthand how a lack of access to qualified health professionals disproportionately impacts communities like mine and creates a broken promise for communities of color, low-income communities, trans and other marginalized communities throughout California. ” said Assembly member Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens), chairwoman of the Women’s Legislative Caucus. “I congratulate Senate Pro Tem Atkins on SB 1375, which will help increase access to first-trimester abortions in all communities, save lives, and help fulfill our promise to be a state of reproductive freedom to all.”
“A year ago, as threats against abortion rights deepened nationwide, the California Women’s Legislative Caucus acted decisively.” said Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), chair of the Senate Budget Committee and vice chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus. “We partnered with the Future of Abortion Council to propose new laws that would not only strengthen California’s reproductive rights, but also ensure our state is a national leader in reproductive freedom. So when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, jeopardizing the health and well-being of women across the country, we were prepared. And now with our reproductive justice bills signed into law and California voters poised to approve Proposition 1, California has demonstrated once again that we are a leader on abortion and reproductive care.
“California is a state of reproductive freedom. We recognize that access to comprehensive reproductive health care is essential to the delivery of quality health care in general. That’s why my bill, AB 2134: The California Abortion and Reproductive Equality (CARE) Act, is so critical. By providing grant funding to safety net providers who provide abortion and contraceptive services to those who lack coverage and cannot pay out-of-pocket fees, we are increasing access, improving health outcomes, and eliminating health disparities.” said Assembly Dr. Akilah Weber (D-La Mesa). “Today’s show of solidarity by my legislative colleagues and longtime reproductive rights advocates demonstrates California’s commitment to expanding and protecting a woman’s right to choose; thereby improving the health of all Californians.”
“California is leading the way in protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. SB 1375 increases access to affordable, high-quality abortion care in California and will remove barriers to access to abortion training for nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives, giving more medical providers the opportunity to provide care to abortion, ensuring that more people get the health care they need and deserve.” said Jodi HicksCEO and President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and Darrah Johnson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest in a joint statement. “This legislation, and the broader historic effort by the California Legislature, is not only critical as more states across the country enact dangerous abortion bans and restrictions, but essential to increasing access to health care in rural and underserved communities. color throughout California. Increasing access to abortion training will help Californians everywhere, as well as those who travel to California, to access safe and legal abortion care. We are very grateful for Senate President Pro Tem Atkins’ leadership and lifelong commitment to protecting reproductive health and rights.”
“On behalf of our more than 371,000 NARAL Pro-Choice California members, I want to thank Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins for her outstanding leadership protecting reproductive freedom and ensuring California is aligned with our values and national leadership as a state with reproductive freedom.” said Shannon Olivieri Hovis, Director or NARAL Pro-Choice California. “We made sure the 2022 California legislative session was one for the history books. Together, we passed the entire Council on the Future of Abortion bill package, provided $205 million to advance reproductive freedom in this year’s state budget, and placed Proposition 1 on the November ballot so Californians have the opportunity to vote to ensure the right to abortion and contraception in the constitution of our state. At a time when extremist, anti-choice lawmakers across the country are trying to destroy our basic liberties, California is leading the way. The work continues and we look forward to what’s to come.”
“The ACLU and our supporters will never stop organizing, advocating and working to build a California where all people — including people who may seek shelter here — have the power and resources to make decisions about their own bodies.” said Norma Chavez-PetersonExecutive Director, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Tony G. Atkins is President Pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her term in the Senate in 2016. As the Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President Pro Tempore Tony G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins
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