Even as red states race to enact increasingly stringent abortion restrictions, a California lawmaker is working to expand abortion access. California Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins has proposed legislation that would allow midwives, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners to perform pregnancy terminations during the first trimester. It’s aimed at increasing services in the more than 50 percent of California counties that lack an abortion provider. As Bloomberg reports, California Democrats aren’t alone in trying to buck the national trend. Earlier this year, a Washington state measure to require insurance companies to cover abortion passed the state House, though it was defeated in the Senate. And in New York, where abortion after 24 weeks is currently only legal to save a woman’s life, Andrew Cuomo has pledged to add broader health exemptions.
Even as red states move to clamp down on abortion providers, California, Washington, and New York are pushing for legislation to lessen restrictions on the procedure.