KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

California Senate Scales Back Bill To Broaden Abortion Access

In its current form, the bill would allow 41 Californians who are not physicians to perform a certain first-trimester abortion procedure.

San Francisco Chronicle: State Bill Would Let Non-Doctors Perform Abortions
As states across the country are passing laws to restrict access to abortion, California lawmakers are considering a significant expansion of who would be able to perform the procedure in the state. Under a bill that passed its first committee hearing Tuesday, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants would be able to perform what is known as an "aspiration" abortion, which is the most common abortion procedure and takes place in the first trimester of a pregnancy. The current form of the bill, SB1338 by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, would allow for only 41 people in the state, in addition to doctors, who have been through a pilot study on the issue to perform aspiration abortions, but backers say they expect that number to be significantly expanded as the proposal moves forward (Buchanan, 4/25).

The Sacramento Bee: Bill To Expand Abortion Access In California Falters In State Senate
A proposal aimed at expanding access to a first-trimester abortion procedure in California advanced Tuesday after being stripped of its key provisions, signaling that lawmakers could punt on the issue amid opposition from the California Nurses Association (Van Oot, 4/25).

The Associated Press/USA Today: Abortion Restrictions Gain Steam In The States
The 2012 anti-abortion push is not as heavy as last year, when legislators in 24 states, many elected in the 2010 Republican tide, passed a record 92 laws restricting abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a group that conducts sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education (Goldman, 4/26).

Arizona Republic: Arizona Legislature OKs Contraception Coverage Bill
More Arizona employers with objections to birth control will be able to drop contraception coverage from health-care plans under a bill approved by state lawmakers Wednesday. House Bill 2625 was one of several issues related to reproductive care that led to intense debate this year in Arizona and across the nation. The bill passed Wednesday by the Senate was criticized as stepping on women's rights by privacy advocates and those who said it would limit care (Davenport, 4/25).

The Texas Tribune (Video): Measuring The Effects Of Texas Family Planning Cuts
The first part in our occasional series examining the battle over family planning in Texas considers the impact of lawmakers' orders to reduce spending on birth control and cancer screenings (Tan, 4/26).

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