SACRAMENTO, CA, May 27, 2014 ( – Since Gov. Jerry Brown signed a sweeping new bill into law last October, the state of California has trained dozens of non-physicians to perform abortions, and the state's women are likely to suffer double the rate of complications as a result, pro-life experts tell LifeSiteNews.

Gov. Brown signed A.B. 154, introduced by San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins, to authorize midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants to perform first-trimester suction aspiration abortions. His office said the new law would “support the health and well-being of women in California.”

MSNBC reported that by March, the state had already added “nearly fifty nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians’ assistants” to perform the procedure, “with more to come.”


The new, less qualified personnel will cause women's injuries – and abortion facility profits – to soar, Dr. Jacqueline C. Harvey, Ph.D., of Reproductive Research Audit told LifeSiteNews. RRA is the pro-life alternative to the Guttmacher Institute, and specializes in fact-checking abortion statistics and reports.

The media often cite a study conducted by Tracy Weitz at the University of California at San Francisco, stating that it found non-physicians and physicians had roughly a two-percent rate of complications.

“This is misleading and focused only on major complications,” Dr. Harvey told LifeSiteNews. “The truth is that the study found women who submit to non-physician abortions are twice as likely to suffer a complication than women who have their abortion performed by a physician.”

Dr. Weitz found 0.9 percent of abortions performed by trained physicians and 1.8 percent of abortions performed by midwives and others resulted in complications. Weitz called the difference “clinically equivalent.

In the four years of her study, which ran August 2007-2011, Weitz said non-physicians performed 5,675 abortions.

The bill's supporters seem to believe the new law will have a disparate impact upon minority communities, who are more likely to receive an abortion performed by a physician practitioner or non-physician.

Ena Suseth Valladares, director of research for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, said, “A lot of Latinas…will benefit” from the law, “because their health care provider now is most likely a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.”

The abortion facilities, Dr. Harvey said, are the ones who really benefit.

“There is no indication that women pay lower fees to have abortions by these lesser-trained non-physicians, who are likely paid less by the abortion clinic,” she said.

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“There was no evidence that women in California are lacking access to abortions performed by qualified physicians,” Harvey said. “It appears that abortion clinics are willing to maim women simply to gain greater profits.”


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