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California bill would allow nurses and midwives to perform early abortions

Nurses and midwives would be able to carry out early abortions in California, under a bill proposed by a Democratic state senator.

State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) wants non-doctors to be allowed to perform aspiration abortions during the first trimester, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Kehoe said half of the state's counties do not have an abortion provider and she wants to make it easier for women to access the procedure.

Only doctors and surgeons are allowed to carry out the procedure, also known as a vacuum abortion, currently in California, while four other states allow non-physicians to do so.

"We believe it will give many California women access to earlier, safer procedures in the first trimester of their pregnancy," Kehoe said at a news conference in Sacramento on Tuesday.

The Times reported it appears the proposal has significant levels of support in the Democrat-dominated Legislature.

However it was slammed by California Right-to-Life lobbyist Camille Giglio, who said changes to the current law would mean "casting aside the safety of the woman."