Supporters can start circulating petitions for two ballot referenda to overturn a pair of abortion-access laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Thursday.
Brown on Oct. 9 signed into law AB 154 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, so nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants with special training can perform abortion by aspiration — in which the uterus’ contents are suctioned out — which is the most common kind of first-trimester abortion. The Assembly passed the bill on a 50-25 vote in May, and the state Senate passed it on a 50-25 vote in August, with most Democrats and no Republicans voting for it.
Brown also that day signed AB 980 by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, which requires the repeal of any sections of the California Building Standards Code that treat primary-care clinics differently if they do abortions.
With dozens of new abortion restrictions enacted in other states this year, California stood alone in passing laws to increase access.
Bowen said Thursday that proponent Laurette Elsberry can start circulating petitions for her measures to roll back these new laws. The attorney general’s official titles and summaries for these measures are:
REFERENDUM TO OVERTURN LAW ALLOWING SPECIFIED LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO PERFORM EARLY ABORTION PROCEDURES. If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law would permit a nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant with a valid license and training to perform specified early abortion procedures. (13-0029.)
REFERENDUM TO REIMPOSE DIFFERENT STANDARDS ON CLINICS PROVIDING ABORTION SERVICES THAN ON OTHER PRIMARY CARE CLINICS. If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law would repeal regulations that impose different building and licensing standards on clinics providing abortion services than on other primary care clinics. (13-0030.)
Elsberry – who voter registration records indicate is a 75-year-old Republican from Sacramento – has until Jan. 7 to gather and submit valid signatures from at least 504,760 registered voters for each measure.