What Others Are Saying: California Women’s Health Care Leaders, Advocates Weigh in on Senate Leader Atkins’ Nurse Practitioner Bill

April 18, 2022

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins’ nurse practitioner legislation, SB 1375, has garnered strong support from a large coalition of women’s health care organizations and professional groups, non-profits, and public health experts. The bill, which is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 19, would expand access to reproductive care and abortion services by clarifying existing laws that allow nurse practitioners meeting specified criteria to practice without physician supervision, including first trimester abortions and reproductive care.

“Right now, women and families across our state are struggling to receive the timely, essential reproductive care they need because we simply do not have enough primary care clinicians,” said Pro Tem Atkins (D-San Diego). “This bill seeks to close that gap and provide more women with access to affordable, high-quality care within a realistic timeframe. I am immensely grateful for the support SB 1375 has received from California’s premier women’s health advocates and practitioners—their partnership is a testament to the importance of this legislation.”

SB 1375 would clarify provisions set forth in law by Assemblymember Jim Wood’s AB 890 (2020) and Pro Tem Atkins’ own AB 154, which was signed into law in 2013. It would widen access and affordability by increasing the number of nurse practitioners able to provide reproductive care, especially for marginalized and lower-income communities.

What others are saying about SB 1375:

“I was the first nurse practitioner in the state of California who was trained to do aspiration abortions when Senator Atkin’s previous bill, AB 154, was made law. SB 1375 is needed to bring abortion services in line with all other services that California NPs can currently provide, allowing NPs to provide abortion care without unnecessary standardized procedures. I’ve seen firsthand the growing need for more providers – this bill will increase access to affordable, high-quality reproductive care and all other health care services.”

Debbie Bamberger, DNP, RN, MS, WHNP-BC


"As a physician and abortion provider, I believe all Californians, regardless of where they live, should be able to access safe abortion care in their community. SB 1375 will help make this a reality by increasing the number of nurse practitioners offering this essential care, especially for rural and more marginalized communities."
Dr. Daniel Grossman, MD, Director, Advancing New Standards for Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco


“I currently practice in two of the nine states that allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions without physician supervision. In states like mine, patients are able to get access to abortion services quickly, and have safe and positive outcomes when the care is provided by a nurse practitioner, midwife, or physician's assistant. The patients that I’ve worked with are happy with the care I and my colleagues provide, as I’m sure California patients will be when SB 1375 passes.”

Danielle Warneau, CNM, WHNP-BC (Nurse Practitioner based in New Hampshire and Vermont)


"Abortion is a normal part of healthcare and should not be treated differently due to stigma or politics. SB 1375 puts abortion squarely in line with all of the other quality care that nurse practitioners provide. By allowing more NP’s to provide early abortion care, SB 1375 will expand access and services to many, especially those living in rural areas."

Flor Hunt, Executive Director, TEACH


“This bill is crucially important, especially given the outrages we're experiencing with legislation in other states throughout the country targeting, limiting and even criminalizing women's rights to bodily autonomy. And at this critical moment when women's lives are endangered, it is no surprise that BIPOC individuals will be targeted at a higher rate, as in Texas's recent murder charges against a woman who attempted a self-abortion. We applaud and stand in solidarity with your efforts to expand access to abortion services.”

Katrina Cantrell, Executive Director, Women’s Health Specialists


“NARAL Pro-Choice California and our 300,000 members will be watching excitedly as SB 1375 moves through the Senate Judiciary Committee. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade in a few short months, and we must continue working to ensure all people in California have equitable and timely access to the care they need. California must have the policies necessary to meet this moment—not just for those living here, but for everybody who comes to our home state to get the care they are being denied in theirs. At a time when 40% of counties in California do not have a single abortion provider, this bill is crucial to ensure we have qualified providers who can fill that gap.”
Shannon Olivieri Hovis, Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California


“At a time when access to abortion is being decimated across the country, we can expect a significant rise in women coming to California to seek medical care. SB 1375 will increase California's ability to quickly expand access to high-quality care, especially for those who need it most. Unfortunately, all signs point to the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and we must protect and provide Californians safe access to care. SB 1735 would allow nurse practitioners to take on new Medi-Cal and uninsured patients and help close the provider gaps in communities where accessing health care is already a challenge. We’re thrilled to partner with Pro Tem Atkins on this important priority.”
Tony Hoang, Executive Director, Equality California


“Expanding the capacity of qualified and skilled health care professionals to provide services at the ceiling of their scope and training, is a key strategy for expanding access to essential abortion health care statewide. SB 1375 builds on California’s commitment to leading the nation as a Reproductive Freedom State. We applaud and thank Pro Tem Atkins for introducing this important measure and being a true champion for sexual and reproductive health and justice for all.”

—Amy Moy, Chief External Affairs Officer, Essential Access Health


“As California's only abortion fund, we stand behind the Reproductive Justice movement. SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as 'The human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.' That right can only be achieved when all people have the complete economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, families, and communities in all areas of our lives. SB 1375 will open up access to qualified providers who can assist in care to help folks make healthy decisions about their body. We echo the sentiments of support and thank you to Senate President pro Tempore Atkins and championing California’s role as a Reproductive Freedom State.”

—Jessica Pinckney, Executive Director, Access Reproductive Justice


“The Los Angeles LGBT Center fully supports SB 1375 because abortion access, like all reproductive rights issues, deeply impacts the LGBTQ community. Safe access to legal health care services that allow for body autonomy is a right all people should have and, unfortunately, this right continues to be under attack, especially for LGBTQ people. Moreover, due to socioeconomic factors, a disproportionate number of LGBTQ folks—particularly lesbians and bi women, young people, and African Americans—find themselves vulnerable to relying on the vital services provided by health clinics, including abortions. We commend Senator Atkins for introducing the expansion of abortion services and health care for all Californians. Our state must do better to help all be healthy, equal, and complete.”

—Joe Hollendoner, Executive Director, Los Angeles LGBT Center


“Senate President Pro Tempore Atkins has long been a champion of increasing access to health care, especially women’s reproductive rights. Given that too many states are passing laws restricting a woman’s right to choose, I am proud to coauthor SB 1375 which will maximize the ability of our professional nurse practitioners to help women get the care they need.”
Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), principal co-author on SB 1375; author AB 890


“The California Association for Nurse Practitioners is proud to sponsor SB 1375 and we are thankful to President Pro Tem Toni Atkins for her continued leadership in ensuring that women and all Californians have access to the care they need. It is important that restrictions on practice be removed so that patients can receive timely, uninterrupted, and high-quality care in all health settings. As nurses, our patient's needs are always first and foremost.”
Patti Gurney, President of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP)


“SB 1375 is a step towards expanding California’s network of abortion providers and addressing the recommendations brought forth by the California Future of Abortion Council to expand the abortion workforce. Too many Californians must travel great distances to access their constitutionally protected right to abortion. As we see patients forced to seek abortion and reproductive health care in California because of hostile bans in their home states, this legislation will improve the network of available providers by ensuring that nurse practitioners can provide care, including abortion, in independent settings and increase access to these services throughout the state.”
Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California


“Nurses see the impact that California’s health care provider shortage has on patients every single day. Women cannot and should not have to wait for access to the care they need – especially when it comes to their reproductive health. American Nurses Association\California strongly supports SB 1375 to ensure that Californians can get the high-quality care they need and that women are able to keep their reproductive freedom intact in our state.”

Dr. Marketa Houskova, DNP, MAIA, BA, RN, Executive Director, American Nurses Association\California

En Español


Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins