Nurse practitioners are allowed to perform abortions without the supervision of a doctor with a new bill introduced by State Senate leader Toni Atkins in preparation of a potential U.S supreme court ruling banning or severely restricting the procedure.
Nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants are allowed to perform abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy with specialized training and supervision of a doctor under a 2013 law. If the new bill becomes law, nurse practitioners with specialized training would be able to perform the procedure without doctor supervision.
The landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, protects a pregnant individual's liberty to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The new conservative majority U.S Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
A decision is expected sometime in June.
The justices indicated they were likely to uphold the law during a hearing on the case, with the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade. If the Roe ruling is overturned or significantly weakened, several states would likely ban or severely restrict the practice.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are 21 states with laws or constitutional amendments in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as soon as possible and five states that are likely to ban the procedure.
Other states have demonstrated hostility toward abortion by adopting multiple restrictions in the past, but are not likely to ban abortion in the near future, according to Guttmacher Institute.
California clinics and their allies in the state Legislature revealed a plan to make the state a “sanctuary” for those seeking reproductive care, including possibly paying for travel, lodging, and procedures for people from other states. The state has additionally passed laws to increase access to abortion.
California already pays for abortions for many low-income residents through Medicaid Program. Additionally, the state requires private insurance companies to cover abortions, though many patients pay deductibles and co-payments.