Expanding Reproductive Care Services
Empowering Nurse Practitioners
“With an increasing shortage of providers, far too many Californians are struggling to get the care they need, when they need it,” said Pro Tem Atkins. “Patients—especially pregnant people considering abortion—don’t have time to waste. That’s why it is so important that highly skilled, qualified nurse practitioners have the opportunity to practice independently, including the ability to provide reproductive care and first term abortions.”
- SB 1375 would increase access to affordable, quality abortion and reproductive care in California by expanding on AB 154 (Atkins, 2013), which gave trained and qualified nurse practitioners the ability to perform first trimester abortions under doctor supervision, by authorizing them to provide reproductive care and first trimester abortions within the scope of their clinical and professional education and training without doctor supervision. Additionally, SB 1375 will modernize and remove barriers to accessing abortion training for nurses practitioners and certified nurse midwives.
- California has a shortage of primary care clinicians—especially in Latino, Black, Native American, and rural communities—a problem that is expected to get even more dire over the next 10 years. Over 40 percent of counties in California don’t have clinics that provide abortions.
- By giving more trained and qualified nurse practitioners the ability to provide abortions without the supervision of a doctor, SB 1375 is a proactive step to further increase access to affordable, quality abortion and reproductive care in California.
- At it’s core, this law is about broadening the quality care patients can receive. It’s about getting more women and families the care they need, and helping to alleviate a heavy workload carried by physicians and a provider shortage that is increasingly detrimental to patients.
- Thirteen states currently allow nurse practitioners to perform aspiration abortions in the first trimester, which includes California. Of those, nine allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions without physician supervision.
- Includes: Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Washington
- States that have granted nurse practitioners authority to practice independently have seen an increase in the number of nurse practitioners who care for underserved populations.
- For more information, you can find the bill language here.
Hear from the Author, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins
“You’re going to continue to see us be a beacon” / Senate President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, and the Strength of California’s Reproductive Rights (Sen. Atkins joins Then There’s California podcast on March 22, 2022)
“Opinion: As a California Senate leader, here’s why I’m committed to expanding abortion rights” (published in the San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 28, 2022)
Senate Leader Atkins Introduces Legislation to Expand Access to Abortion Services, Health Care for All Californians
What others are saying
News about SB 1375
Op-Ed by Debbie Bamberger, NP, published in CalMatters: California can improve access to abortion by easing rules on physician oversight
What Others Are Saying: California Women’s Health Care Leaders, Advocates Weigh in on Senate Leader Atkins’ Nurse Practitioner Bill
Los Angeles Times: “More California nurse practitioners could work independently, offer abortions under new bill”
San Francisco Chronicle: “SF CHRONICLE: New bill would allow nurse practitioners in California to perform some abortions”
California Association for Nurse Practitioners (Bill Sponsor) • Abortion Care Training Incubator for Outstanding Nurse Scholars (ACTIONS) • Access Reproductive Justice • ACLU California Action • Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) • American Association of University Women, California • American Nurses Association/California • Association of California Nurse Leaders • Bay Area Council • Board of Registered Nursing • California Future of Abortion Council • California Health+ Advocates • California Hospital Association • California Nurse-Midwives Association • California Women’s Law Center • City of West Hollywood • Equality California • Essential Access Health • Govern for California • Los Angeles LGBT Center • NARAL Pro-Choice California • Nevada County Citizens for Choice • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California • San Francisco AIDS Foundation • San Francisco Department of Public Health Advanced Practice Providers • Service Employees International Union, California State Council • Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH) • Women’s Health Specialists