Posted on their website is Planned Parenthood’s press release announcing the passage of Senator Kehoe’s SB 1338. SB 1338 is the bill Christine Kehoe authored and which is designed to ease restrictions on who can perform abortions in the state of California.
According to their press release, Kehoe’s bill was passed by the California State Senate Public Safety Committee with a vote of 5-2. SB 1338, or the “Safe and Early Access Bill”, is designed to ensure women early and easier access to abortion by allowing non-physicians, such as midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to perform certain abortion procedures. Although these practitioners do not have the proper medical licensing to perform abortions, Kehoe’s bill will make it possible for them to perform abortions as long as they take a “specialized training course.”
Planned Parenthood refers to this as “safe and early access to reproductive care”. Worth mentioning again, is the irony behind such deceptive rhetoric considering that there is absolutely nothing “reproductive” about terminating the life of an unborn child. To “reproduce”, humans have to actually give birth to their children, not terminate their lives.
On the press release, Planned Parenthood proudly announces that the state of California is increasing access to abortion at a time in our nation’s history in which “other states and Congress are moving to restrict” abortion services. Again, they used to code-word, “reproductive healthcare” instead of abortion.
Senator Kehoe is also quoted on the press release, stating:
“California has a long history of standing up to ensure access to healthcare. This year I hope that the California legislature will continue leadership in protecting women’s health when it considers this law that will reduce barriers to abortion access.”
Reduce barriers to abortion access? This is Senator Kehoe’s big concern? To reduce barriers? Why?
As a means of justifying this piece of legislation, Kehoe and supporters of this new bill, have, in essence, relied on the claims made by University of California San Francisco’s ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health). This organization has used the findings of a 2005 study titled “Abortion in the United States: incidence and access to services”.
In their website, the ANSIRH claims that “The growing shortage of abortion providers creates a significant barrier for women and girls living in the 87% of U. S. counties that do not have a healthcare practitioner providing abortion services.”
But, is this claim 100% accurate? Is this what the study REALLY reflects?
The 2005 study does mention the 87% figure. This figure, however, appears to apply ONLY to counties containing 35% of women ages 15-44, and not ALL counties.
Furthermore, the study cited by UCSF, concluded that in fact “The number of abortions and the abortion rate continued their long-term decline.”
If abortions are on the decline, then why would there be an increased need for unlicensed abortion providers?
In addition, the 2005 study also concluded that the reasons for these declining trends are “unknown”. It may be – the study concludes – that “access to abortion” is one of the unknown factors, but it could also be that “improved access to and use of contraceptives” is to blame for this decline.
UCSF’s ANSIRH appears to ignore this part of the study’s results. The reason why women are having less abortions may be because of an increased, successful use of contraceptions and NOT because women in certain counties have less access to abortions.
In other words, this particular study’s findings are simply inconclusive. Nevertheless, Senator Kehoe, Planned Parenthood, and those pushing SB 1338, are relying on these inconclusive findings to make their claim that MORE providers are needed.
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