California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill today (Saturday, September 22) that lets women get birth control without seeing a doctor.
That is not to say it is unregulated or even over-the-counter like many countries; instead, registered nurses will be able to “dispense and administer birth control according to a standard procedure outlined by a doctor.” (KPCC)
A California legislation website says the following,
Existing law, the Nursing Practice Act, authorizes a registered nurse to dispense drugs or devices upon an order by a licensed physician and surgeon if the nurse is functioning within a specified clinic.
This bill would, in addition, authorize a registered nurse to dispense specified drugs or devices upon an order issued by a certified nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant if the nurse is functioning within a specified clinic. The bill would also authorize a registered nurse to dispense or administer hormonal contraceptives in strict adherence to specified standardized procedures.
You can find a copy of the bill here.
KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, reports that
The bill passed without any Republican support. Republican lawmakers argued only doctors have the medical expertise to provide hormonal contraceptives and they questioned the standard of care nurses could provide.
The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, would also require women to see a doctor for an exam after at least three years, Mitchell said.
“It doesn’t do any good to have a card that says health insurance if there’s no one to give healthcare,” said Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO Kathy Kneer. “By using RN’s to the full ability of their training…we’re freeing up space for women who have higher risk conditions to see a nurse practitioner or physician.”
Kneer said AB 2348 was a priority for the organization, which co-sponsored the bill, but it had also hoped the governor would sign a number of other bills on his desk Saturday that are also related to women’s health.
“Instead of shrinking back and trying to take away women’s health care services and birth control, we’re empowering them.” –Governor Jerry Brown.