SACRAMENTO, September 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The California Senate last week rammed through a bill allowing abortionists to practice without a doctor’s license, which now awaits approval from Governor Jerry Brown. 

Senate Bill 623, introduced by Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, extends a program run by the University of California at San Francisco, in which nurse practitioners, midwives, and doctors’ assistants are trained to perform abortions without any further training in medicine. Kehoe argues the bill is necessary because there aren’t enough doctors performing abortions in California.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation, a Napa-based group that has been calling on the UCSF program to expose its records, notes the revolutionary take on abortion was crammed into an unrelated bill at the end of the legislative session after previous attempts at passage failed.

“This bill was originally created to regulate boat paint,” said LLDF Executive Director Dana Cody. “Now it’s regulating and destroying human lives.”

Sen. Kehoe had unsuccessfully attempted to pass a broader measure earlier this year that was killed in committee. Rather than opening abortion to non-physicians generally, the latest bill focuses on extending a UC-San Francisco program that lawyers say has used a legal loophole to pursue the unorthodox training.

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The program was the subject of pro-life lawyers’ Writ of Mandate demanding disclosure with a public records request for complete information. Lawyers say the public is not being told which abortionists are conducting the training, and whether women are being put at risk by non-doctors performing the invasive surgery.

“There have been numerous attempts to resist records requests, leaving us wondering what they have to hide,” said Katie Short, Legal Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. LLDF has issued a fact sheet about the push to lower standards for an abortion license.

It notes that Planned Parenthood has teamed with USCF and that the non-physicians in the program are, for the most part, selected from among individuals already employed at Planned Parenthood.

California affiliates of the abortion group, along with NARAL Pro-Choice America, had made a public push for dropping license requirements earlier this year.

Meanwhile, California’s Catholic bishops are decrying the “hastily concocted ‘gut and amend’ bill,” saying the previous attempts “failed, in part, because the ‘success’ touted by the project sponsors had not been professionally reported or peer reviewed.” 

They also lamented that the program has already resulted in 8,000 abortions.

“With SB 623, the sponsors and managers of that project will be ‘rewarded’ with more time and more money so they can not only ‘do their homework,’ but also continue training yet more mid-level medical practitioners, who have already performed more than 8,000 abortions,” the bishops said in an action alert.