Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

One of the reasons for legalizing abortion in established medical facilities was to prevent illegal or "back alley" abortions. Unlicensed doctors and shabby facilities would be a thing of the past. Instead, women would be treated by medical professionals–doctors who had surgical training. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with this logic in 1973 and  Roe v Wade and legal abortion became the law of the land. The United States averages some one million abortions per year and yet abortion is still going on in substandard shabby facilities. Now, the trend is to allow people without surgical experience to perform abortions.

California became the fifth state to allow individuals without proper surgical training to perform abortions. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that would allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives to perform abortions. California is supposed to be a progressive state, favoring high standards with high regard for women. The recent legal change either betrays the puported reason for Roe or utterly disregards the safety of women. In either case,  the veneer of law, however thin it might be, permits the exploitation of women to continue "back alley" and elsewhere.