Midwives can perform abortions under new Calif. law

Gov. Jerry Brown gives his State of the State address at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2013. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform a type of early abortion.

The legislation by Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego would let those professionals perform what are known as aspiration abortions during the first trimester. The method involves inserting a tube and using suction to terminate a pregnancy.

Oregon, Montana, Vermont and New Hampshire already allow nurse practitioners to perform those abortions.

Brown announced Wednesday that he signed AB154 along with several other bills related to women's health care.

Atkins says the new law will help expand access to abortion services in areas of the state with few physicians. Republican lawmakers who opposed the legislation argued that it would increase risks to patients.

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