Thanks to the efforts of conservatives who got elected based on lying to the electorate about knowing how to do stuff like "create jobs" and "fix the economy" (LOL), it's been a generation since getting an abortion was this big a pain in the ass — albeit not as big a pain in the ass as carrying a pregnancy for 9 months, then pushing a human infant out of your vaginal canal, then either raising the child at enormous cost with very little assistance from the government or society at large OR giving it up for adoption and spending the rest of your life wondering about it — BUT I DIGRESS. Point is, while other states are enacting barriers to choice, one state is actually making it easier for women to access abortion — California.
Governor Jerry Brown just signed the Early Access to Abortion Bill into law. The new legislation will allow some medical professionals — nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician's assistants — to perform certain types of early abortions. Previously, the law mandated that these relatively simple procedures be performed by a doctor.
To paraphrase Martha Stewart, this is A Good Thing; it means that doctor scarcity won't be a de facto barrier to terminating a pregnancy, which means less desperation, which means more safety. California's new law will also ideally prevent another horrifying Gosnell-type scenario. As Irin Carmon at MSNBC explains,
Women who went to Gosnell, sometimes repeatedly and usually without complaint, plainly felt they had no other choice. They were predominately low-income and women of color–the same groups that will be the likeliest to benefit from California’s law, since research shows that they are more likely to see nurse practitioners or physician assistants than obstetricians and gynecologists.
Some women also ended up at Gosnell’s clinic because they were too far along for another provider or for Pennsylvania’s legal limit. There is some research indicating that some of the later abortions that politicians like to rail against are preventable–if women were able to access abortion earlier.
Makes sense. And good for California women.
But that hasn't stopped the mental giants on the pro-life side from arriving at an opposite-true conclusion. Brietbart dot com noted that this will increase "back alley abortions," which is, again, the opposite of true (false) since, by definition, a "back alley abortion" is an unsafe abortion performed outside of the law by an unlicensed medical professional, and research into the safety of early term abortions has shown conclusively that there's no drop in the procedure's safety when certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, or physician's assistants perform them.
Thinking caps were also donned at The Daily Caller, where a columnist warned that,
In light of the Kermit Gosnell trial – the “house of horrors” where newly born infants were murdered after surviving abortions and where filthy conditions led to life-threatening conditions for women, and where yes, at least one woman died – these proposals seem unfathomable.
Nope. Opposite of that. Increased access to qualified, safe abortion providers will run any aspiring Gosnells out of business. Try again, this time with verifiable statistics and facts that weren't dreamed up around right wing campfires.
Here's a fact backed by actual scientific research: abortion is 14 times safer than giving birth. Here's another fact backed by actual scientific research: not only is having an abortion safer than giving birth, it's less emotionally traumatic than childbirth, according to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011.
This isn't to say that every pregnant woman should have an abortion (duh; babies are adorable and make a lot of people very happy and people should be able to form their families as they see fit), just that bringing up "safety" to bolster an anti-abortion rights stance is sort of self-defeating, given the safety of the alternative.
Anyway, congratulations, California, for not being a regressive ideological shitpile. I'd move there, but I hate driving.