Santee-based Assemblyman Brian Jones reacted negatively on Monday to Sen. Christine Kehoe's recently introduced legislation, SB 1501, which clarifies those who may legally perform abortions, and increases the potential number of providers.
In presenting the bill, Kehoe said the point was to expand access, mostly to rural areas. This would be done by clearly allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives to perform abortions, medical personnel that, under current law, are in legal limbo if performing abortions.
“There are large portions of the state where there are no, or few, providers. The longer women wait, the more complicated the procedure can become,” Kehoe said to the Union Tribune.
More than half of California's counties do not have an abortion provider, according to ACCESS Women's Health Justice, an organization that provides referral services for reproductive health services.
Jones, who once served on staff at a local church, released a statement today in response to SB 1501.
"My immediate response when I heard about this bill was visceral- I felt like I was kicked in the gut," said Jones.
"I shouldn't be shocked at the moral failure this represents, but I fear what it says about our society that we are actually looking for more ways to abort babies. "
The statement by Jones described the "extensive counseling he and his wife provided to young women facing this heart-wrenching decision."
Governor Jerry Brown, a supporter of abortion rights, is expected to sign the bill.
"This bill is another example of misplaced priorities coming out of our state legislature," Jones said.
The legislation has not been set for a hearing yet.