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Get the Facts About SB 1375 (Atkins)

Support SB 1375 Allow Independent NPs to Provide First Trimester Abortion Care

In a time when challenges to Roe v. Wade, a case that has provided protections for abortion services for more than 50 years, are expected, a focus on women’s health and expanding provider access is key. Over 40 percent of California counties do not have clinics that provide abortions and, according to the California Future of Abortion Council, because of the number of states seeking to ban abortion, the number of women traveling to California for abortion care may increase significantly.

SB 1375 builds on previous legislation to expand access to abortion services and to allow NPs to practice to the extent of their education and training.

In 2013, AB 154 (Atkins) increased the types of trained health professionals who can provide early abortions by allowing NPs, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early abortions safely within the terms of their licenses. This was a significant and necessary change to expand access to critical abortion services.

Additionally, in 2020, AB 890 (Wood) was passed by the California Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, and it was signed into law by the Governor. AB 890 defined eligibility requirements for NPs to practice without physician supervision, including certification from a nationally accredited certifying entity and completion of a postgraduate transition-to-practice (TTP) of three full-time equivalent years or 4,600 hours of practice under physician supervision.

Specifically, SB 1375:

  • updates the statute to clarify that NPs practicing pursuant to AB 890’s removal of physician supervision can provide early abortions. Allowing independent NPs to provide abortion care would significantly expand access to critically needed services. At a time when access to abortion services has been greatly diminished, this legislation is a key step forward for women’s health care.
  • clarifies that NPs who have been practicing for three or more years satisfy the TTP requirement established in AB 890 and allows NPs to utilize prior practice experience to satisfy the TTP. By allowing experienced nurse practitioners, many of whom have been practicing in good standing under physician supervision for decades, to utilize prior experience to fulfill the TTP requirement, California can increase its ability to quickly expand access to high-quality care, especially for those who need it most. NPs are more likely to see and take on new Medi-Cal and uninsured patients and they can help close the provider gap in communities where accessing health care is already a challenge.

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