Despite intense lobbying by the California Catholic Conference, the California Senate voted along party lines 22-11 to approve SB 1301, a bill that would allow nurses and other healthcare providers – who are already authorized to write prescriptions – to prescribe mifepristone, the early abortion pill. Currently, it is unlawful in California for a nurse or a physician assistant to perform abortions or assist with the procedure. The bill will now move to the Assembly.
Mifepristone is a safe, effective, non-surgical form of early abortion. Mifepristone has been successfully used by hundreds of thousands of women worldwide, and may be a possible treatment for fibroid tumors, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, meningioma, and some types of breast cancer. The Feminist Majority Foundation led the fight to make mifepristone available to women in the US as an abortifacient and has launched an emergency campaign to increase research on mifepristone’s other potential medical uses.