Re "Bills would protect women's, children's health" (Viewpoints, Aug. 29): The distinguished Tracy Weitz aptly notes that "the one thing we know improves safety is helping women get abortions earlier." That in itself is reason to enact AB 154, a groundbreaking bill to expand access to early abortion providers in California. The safety of allowing trained clinicians other than physicians to perform first trimester abortions, as the bill would do, was recently shown by an extensive UCSF study. Four other states, including neighboring Oregon, have implemented similar laws.
As the writers argue, concerns for women's safety underlie the legislation. Opponents who cite safety point to no empirical evidence of poorer outcomes from allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives who are qualified, trained clinicians to provide early abortion care -- as they already do for medication abortions. California women deserve the extra safety AB 154 offers.
-- Elaine Sierra, Grass Valley