The government in California has created a bill that pushes licensing for medical practitioners that intends to perform abortion and got into effect starting January. This is in line with the efforts to expand access to abortion.
As of January 1, AB 657 has come into effect, requiring the critical medical boards in California - the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, the Board of Registered Nursing, the Medical Board of California, and the Physician Assistant Board - to have the licensing process for individuals who gives a letter declaring their intent to perform abortions.
License to Perform Abortion
Relating to this new law, a spokesperson from the Medical Board of California confirmed that they are prioritizing the processing of licenses for applicants who aim to provide abortions within their medical expertise. This move aims to ensure that qualified medical professionals can offer a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion, to those in need.
Abortion is considered a medical procedure to end pregnancy abruptly, and the safety lies with the medical professionals performing the said complicated procedure. Requiring the professionals to have a license lessens or aims to eliminate malpractice and unsuccessful operations.
According to Christian Post, to be eligible for licensing under the provisions of AB 657, medical professionals must provide a letter declaring their intent to perform abortions. Their place of work or contract must also furnish a letter confirming the information.
The letter content must have specific details such as the applicant's starting date, the location where they will carry out the abortions, and whether they will perform the procedure within the scope of their licensed practice. While the Medical Board of California only licenses allopathic physicians, it should be noted that healthcare professionals with prior disciplinary actions or convictions in another state related to performing abortions can still apply for licensing in California.
However, the Physician Assistant Board, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, and the Board of Registered Nursing have not yet to replied to a request for comment from The Christian Post.
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Supreme Court Upholds Mississippi Abortion Ban
Last year, the United States Supreme Court made a significant change regarding abortion rights. The court overturned a historic ruling from 1973 called Roe v. Wade. According to Reuters, this ruling said women have a constitutional right to abortion. The president, Joe Biden, is against this decision.
The court decided to uphold the Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This ruling was made by 6/9 judges, most of whom are conservative. The vote was 5 to 4 to get rid of the Roe ruling. The chief justice, John Roberts, who is also conventional, said he would have supported the Mississippi law but did not need to get rid of the Roe ruling completely.
In line with the continued support of the government of California for abortion, they also launched a website that is available for people in California and those from outside the state to learn about abortion. The website gives information about where to find abortion facilities, how to get abortion pills and help with paying for travel for an abortion. The website explains the different types of abortions and lists over 160 facilities in California where you can have an abortion. If you don't live in California, the website tells you how to get abortion pills in the mail.
According to Center for Reproductive Rights, state governments and licensing bodies set restrictions on the range of practice for healthcare professionals. State laws typically do not specify the precise medical treatments that fall within or beyond a practitioner's scope of practice.
However, many states have viewed abortion differently by only allowing doctors to perform abortions. By repealing physician-only laws or explicitly allowing nurses, assistant of physicians and other qualified medical professionals to provide abortion care through laws, regulations, or attorney general opinions, other states have taken proactive steps to broaden the types of clinicians who may lawfully provide abortion care.
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