Abortion bill guarantees better access and quality

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Sept. 22 that allows not just doctors, but also nurse practitioners and other clinicians to perform non-surgical abortions in California.

Max Rubin | Daily Trojan

The bill, Senate Bill 623, is highly anticipated by Californians in a time where medical care is not affordable for all, nor is reproductive health care accessible for all women.

According to the Los Angeles Times, half of California counties do not have a physician who regularly gives abortions — one alarming problem the bill aims to tackle. The policies introduced by SB 623 are a step in the right direction for providing statewide access to abortions across all socioeconomic classes.

A low income can result in an inability to afford condoms or abortions, which can lead to accidental pregnancies. People don’t often think about the effect financial difficulties have on pregnancy rates, but there is a correlation between the two.

By allowing people of lower incomes access to abortions and birth control, SB 623 sheds light on a growing issue and becomes a stepping stone in solving the problem. Perhaps lower income households in California, with growing access to certified abortion specialists, will have fewer unplanned children.

Giving non-physicians — nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives — the right to perform abortions might also allow some women to receive abortions before they have access to a doctor. And earlier access to medical resources means fewer complications and better results.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and many other pro-choice groups support the change in access, but there are also many opposing forces, such as the California Catholic Conference and the California Right to Life Committee, that criticize the bill for expediting access to abortions.

Another major criticism is that allowing less-trained professionals to perform abortions will potentially cause unsafe medical procedures. Yet on Aug. 30, Yahoo! cited studies concluding abortions are just as safe when performed by trained nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants as when doctors perform them. Researchers compared first-trimester abortion complications and side effects from abortions performed by doctors versus those from abortions performed by trained practitioners and found no differences in the complications.

In light of the more than 100 abortion-restrictive state measures that have been passed in the last year, SB 623 — as a measure that promotes rather than restricts access — indicates that abortion continues to be a hot-button, controversial issue that is not widely agreed upon.

The decision, however, to terminate a pregnancy is an incredibly personal one that should be treated as such.

Not to mention, the freedom to choose to have an abortion still remains a legal right that should be protected. Without certified officials who can help all citizens of all incomes to exercise this right, what good is having liberties at all?

Brown set a national example by signing SB 623 and protecting not only women’s right to choice, but also their access to quality reproductive health care. If citizens of any socioeconomic group possess a certain right, they must also have access to quality facilities in which they are able to realistically exercise this right.

Currently, only 11 states allow non-physicians to perform abortions. Hopefully, California’s addition to this number will convince the rest of the nation of the benefits of widespread access and protection of reproductive rights.


Morgan Greenwald is a freshman majoring in neuroscience and French.

4 replies
  1. Benjamin Roberts
    Benjamin Roberts says:

    Wow… The author has several flaws in her argument. Foremost, she makes the common mistake of suggesting that just because someone has a right to something, that they also therefore deserve it, and are entitled to it. Everyone has the right to buy a car, but not everyone can afford one. Everyone has the right to a good paying job, but not everyone deserves one. Everyone has the right to a gun, but not everyone needs one. People of lesser econimic means who can’t afford a car must adjust by learning to navigate public transportation, or finding work close to home. People without advanced degrees, or of lesser intellect, are often resigned to lower-paying, less-skilled work.

    Another problem with her argument is the premise itself. The author literally claims that the fact that half of California’s counties don’t have physicians who regularly perform abortions is “an alarming problem”. Really? Read that sentence again. Wow!! What’s alarming is someone thinking that we need an abortion doctor in every county, like we need police and fire services, or quality schools and safe roads. Frankly, this author echoes a lack of ethical clarity and critical thinking found in much of the abortion debate.

    Those who vehemently defend abortion (the right, and the practice) should be reminded of one of life’s great maxims: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Guns are perhaps the best example of this, and I’ve always noted that Democrats are as guilty with abortion as Republicans are with guns. Both sides kling to their respective rights, with no understanding of the inherent responsibilities. Just because one can own a gun, doesn’t mean one should.. yet Republicans rigidly defeat every attempt by the left to regulate the ownership of guns while maintaining the right to own one. Likewise, Democrats concede nothing in Republican attempts to regulate abortion, including measures such as parental notification or age restrictions. Instead, Democrats protect the unqualified right of any woman at any age, for any reason and at any time, to have an abortion. It’s truly sad.

    A final note on the author’s flawed argument: She writes that Governor Brown set a “national example” by signing SB 623… then noted that 11 states allow non-physicians to perform abortion. I would hardly say that Governor Brown set an example if roughly 20 percent of US states already have similar measures in place.

  2. King Fratty
    King Fratty says:

    Mind your own business people! Sometimes I go bareback with the ladies and things get out of control. I need this to keep my lifestyle unhindered by some mini-me

  3. Santo Raphael
    Santo Raphael says:

    I would challenge anyone reading this article, and who also believes in “reproductive rights”,
    to do the following ASAP, preferably before the end of this weekend.
    Go to YouTube and view an actual abortion taking place of an innocent little boy or girl.
    Forget “reproductive rights” for a minute. What happened to the boy or girl who was killed?

    Our Country’s Constitution guarantees us the Right to Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness.
    Regardless of whether you believe in an after-life of not, your “choice” to kill will be judged
    by the one who gave YOU life. You denied your offspring ALL of his/her rights. All for what? SELF.

    It’s been 29+ years since an old girlfriend of mine self-ishly aborted our child (for career purposes) and it’s something that I continually think about at least 3-5 times per week. The treating of other human beings as OBJECTS to satisfy our own SELF~ish desires has a Ripple Effect of ugly consequences.

    Watch one of these Videos. This is REALITY.
    It happens every day. Does it make it right when this evil act is repeated? You’ll find out soon enough.
    After YOUR death. In Eternity.

  4. Seriously
    Seriously says:

    Let’s call a spade a spade. Murdering an unborn child has nothing to do with “reproductive health” and making the process more accessible and affordable does not make it more acceptable.

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