California bill proposes extending pilot program for non-doctor abortions

An under-the-table way to normalize abortions performed by non-doctors.

Back at the end of April, Senate Bill 1338 swept across the headlines in California. This bill would have made it legal for non-doctors to perform abortions and would have brought industry standards to an all-time low. Pro-lifers hailed the halting of this bill in early May as a victory for life, but the victory is short-lived.

SB 1338 was born out of the pilot training program titled the “Health Workforce Pilot Project No. 171” – a project where non-doctors were legally allowed to perform over 5,000 abortions in California. Through the program, the hope of many favoring abortion was to demonstrate and collect data supporting the safety of non-doctors performing abortions and, ultimately, to make the practice legal. While the bill was slapped down previously, California State Senator Christine Kehoe isn’t quite ready to admit defeat.

This week she introduced a new bill, SB 623, which would extend the pilot program through January 1, 2012. While this would not legalize abortion by non-doctors in California, the bill poses a huge threat to women’s health and to the standards of the medical industry. This bill was originally a proposal for regulation of toxic paint used on boats, but it has been twisted into an under-the-table attempt to get this passed under our noses.

As Dana Cody, president and executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, said:

This is no more than the use of parliamentary procedure to pull a bait and switch. Any data forthcoming from this legislation will doubtless be used to expand non-physician abortions in the State of California, to say nothing of the risk to women currently undergoing these ‘pilot project’ abortions.

Pro-life advocates who wish to make their voices heard are being encouraged to contact their members of the California State Assembly and Senate and ask them to vote “no” on SB 623.

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