California Lawmaker: Expanding Access to Abortion Is Like Returning To Back Alleys

Numerous states have recently proposed legislation that would forbid anyone other than a doctor from administering drugs that would induce an abortion.  For vast states with few providers, the new rule would cut off access for hundreds of women facing unwanted pregnancies.

But California isn’t like other states.  Instead, they are proposing making access to first trimester abortions easier.

San Diego Senator Christine Kehoe is proposing that medical practitioners such as physician assistants, midwives and nurse should be allowed to dispense the pills, too.

Local reproductive rights advocates, concerned that half of the state has no access to abortion providers, are thrilled at the idea. “With no local providers in their communities, many women have to find child care, borrow money for bus fare, and find a place to stay while they receive care,” says Ana Rodriguez, who heads of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice.   “No one should have to overcome these types of hurdles to access a simple, safe and legal medical procedure.

Opponents accuse the senator of wanting to return women to a time of “back alley abortion” by allowing non-doctors to perform the procedure. ““That’s pretty aggressive,” [Assemblyman Brian Jones] said. “My immediate question is where and how are they going to do these procedures. It sounds like they want to turn the clock back to the back ally practices they were against.”

And others worry that expanding access would allow women to not be forced into carrying to term. “Kehoe’s bill is a ploy by pro-choice advocates. It is wrapped in the paper of ‘access’ for rural or poor women and tied with the bow of ‘equal opportunity’. However, the true purpose of this bill is to increase abortions. Clearly, many women without easy access would choose to keep their baby instead of going through with an abortion. Often, the easier abortions become, the more they are performed, and this is exactly what Kehoe and her allies want.”

If the bill passes, it would be one of two bills to actually turn back the assault on abortion rights. The other, mandating insurance companies cover abortions in their policies, is currently being debated in Washington state.

photo credit: wikimedia commons


Debbie Crowe
Debbie C5 years ago

Senator Christine Kehoe seems like a very smart woman!!

Claire I., I could not have said it better. A Green Star is coming your way!!

Sheila D.
Sheila D5 years ago

Medical practitioners such as physician assistants, midwives, and nurses are qualified to dispense pills, but they are also far more qualified to do an abortion than any "back alley" hack. Besides that, they would have instant access to a doctor and a medical facility if anything were to go wrong. This argument has nothing to do with who does the procedure or dispenses the pills; the opponents are against anything that would terminate a pregnancy for any reason. California has the right idea.

Claire Insley
Claire Insley5 years ago

There are too many people in the world. We need to decrease not increase the birth rate. Whilst women are victims of rape, they may get pregnant, they should have the right to have an abortion. Even if you just got pregnant "by accident" you should not have to go through with a pregnancy you do not want. Men should have no say in this issue as they are not affected by it. Easy access to the morning after pill and other early abortion pills are paramount to a woman's right to choose. At the point where these pills are effective, the fetus is little more than a ball of cells, maybe with a yolk sac, but not truly recognisable as human. It cannot feel pain at this point. Access to early abortions decreases the need for access to later abortions. The worst thing you can do is bring an unwanted child into the world and there are so many of them. So many damaged individuals who were born into loveless relationships... that is the true crime. Many adopted children feel contempt for their birth mothers, so it is not necessarily a good option. If you were never born, you were never born and can't complain that your own mother didn't want you. Harsh but true. Religion has no place in dictating a free country's laws. Once you have that, you are not a free country. There is no freedom of speech, no freedom of action, no freedom of mind.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

I really don't care what Mother Theresa says about abortion. She should stick to helping her sick people. If her group helped women get birth control instead of telling women not to use it, there would be less starving children. Just everyone who thinks they should tell women what to do, I say stick your nose somewhere else.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron5 years ago

"Expanding Access to Abortion Is Like Returning To Back Alleys"?

Really? expanding access to abortion increases the risk of death to the woman, increase the risk of infection to a woman?

California is not taking a step backwards but a step forward, though it may not seem like it to many people.

Charli S.
Charlotte S5 years ago

This isn't back alley abortions it's common sense. I had a friend who had a "back alley abortion". the many first raped and sodomized her (she was tied to the table so she wouldn't move) before the abortion (He said to her...don't act like a virgin, we both know what kind of person you are) she had no pain meds at all and she later died of an infection. I wish I'd known before she went because I would have went with her. I knew pregnant girls that got hit with cars after jumping out in front of them, who douched with bleach and very hot water in the belief it would abort the fetus, a girl who shoved dirty sticks in her uterus to trigger an abortion, and of course the good ol' wire hanger. The only women who didn't have to do this were rich women. But the rich very seldom suffer in the same manner as poor and middle class women.

Michael Anda
Michael Anda5 years ago

Ruth P.
Ruth P5 years ago

Are these people actually afraid that abortion rates are increasing exponentially and we'll start killing living people once we inevitably pass 100% abortion rates? Hahahaha! Of course women should have easy access to early abortion - it cuts rates of later abortions and adoptions. It's a good thing!

Funny to see them talking out of both sides of their mouths, too. Either the real concern is back-alley abortions or it's increased abortions. It's not both.

Lindsey DTSW
.5 years ago

Diana E.F., you state in opposition to "cheap" abortion alternatives that, "Women need better circumstances for giving birth."

But "giving birth" is the smallest part of the situation. It's raising a child (with all that entails) and being a parent for the rest of that child's life that's the major factor. Or choosing adoption and living for the rest of one's life with the pain that choice so often imposes on birth parents.

I don't see a problem with nurse practitioners, midwives, etc. having the ability to dispense this drug. They already are legally allowed to do many things that are intrinsically more risky to the patient (such as supervising a birth and delivering a baby.....)

Edith B.
Edith B5 years ago

When men can have babies, then they can legislate abortion rights.