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California Bill Would Allow Nurses To Prescribe Birth Control Pills

CULVER CITY (CBS/AP) — California women would no longer have to make an appointment with a doctor to get birth control pills under a bill approved by the state Assembly.

Lawmakers on Thursday approved AB-2348, which would allow registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives to give out and administer hormonal contraceptives at primary care clinics.

Culver City Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell said she wrote the bill to give women better access to birth control.

Republican lawmakers said only doctors have the expertise to prescribe these medications and questioned the standard of care that nurses could provide.

Mitchell said the alternative for many woman was no care at all, and "no care is the lowest standard of care."

AB-2348 is co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood of California and the California Family Health Council, and it has broad support from a variety of advocates for reproductive justice, according to a statement released by Michell.

The bill passed 41-26 on a party line vote and now moves to the Senate.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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