Pro-Life Nurses Oppose California bill to allow more non-physicians to perform first-trimester abortions

napln-img-042513Editor’s note. NRL News Today has written numerous stories about the efforts by pro-abortionists in California to expand the range of non-physician personnel who would be allowed to perform first trimester abortions by aspiration and medication. (See, for example, and

The drive was (predictably) promoted by a five-year research project begun in 2007 under the eye of Tracy Weitz, a pro-abortion associate professor at University of California at San Francisco who led the study. USCF researchers concluded that “that nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants can perform the abortions as safely as physicians.”

The following letter was sent by the National Association of Pro-life Nurses. “NP “ refers to Nurse Practitioner, “CNM” refers to Certified Nurse-Midwife, and “PA” refers to Physician Assistant.

Hon. Richard Pan

Assembly Health Committee
Capitol, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA

Re:  AB154 (Adkins)

Rep Pan,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address California’s AB154, a bill that would allow NPs, CNMs and PAs to perform first trimester abortions by aspiration and medication.

This bill is offensive to us as an organization committed to the health and safety of the clientele served by nurses.  Nurses are not trained or licensed to perform invasive procedures that can be harmful to women because of the host of serious and sometimes fatal complications associated with these procedures.  These procedures should be performed only by trained physicians who can address any emergency situation arising. Carving out exceptions in order to expand the practice of abortion so that rural areas would be better served is really the camel’s nose under the tent eventually allowing these marginal practitioners to perform procedures in clinics throughout the state.

Further, these areas which are being cited as the need for this expansion are also very likely not to have access to medical facilities capable of handling the emergencies which inevitably arise from performance of such procedures.  The most common complication of the surgical aspiration abortion is perforation with resultant very serious consequences which would require immediate surgical intervention.

The administration of RU486 is notorious for producing hemorrhage in the woman requiring emergency transfusion and D&C.  These practices should only take place where backup emergency services are available.  The procedure of abortion is never one of an emergency nature and those who seek one are not being disadvantaged by traveling to a place where it can be done more safely with access to the emergency services should they become necessary.  It is truly in their best interest to do so and the State of California should have this safety for its female citizens foremost.

With the current spotlight on several abortion facilities which have been cited  in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Alabama and Delaware and elsewhere as unsafe places for women to have abortions, it seems odd that California would seek this dubious status by allowing those not sufficiently trained to carry out these procedures.  Even further training of those persons covered in this bill cannot replace the years of training of a physician with knowledge in other areas of anatomy and physiology that are required to treat patients safely, especially when they can be as young as 12 years old.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak for our California members, indeed for nurses all across the country, who are rightly concerned for the health and safety of their clients no matter what the circumstances are.


Marianne Linane, RN, MS

Executive Director, National Association of Pro-life Nurses