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Nurses Allowed To Distribute Birth Control

SANTA BARBARA — Nurses will soon be allowed to prescribe birth control to patients. Governor Jerry Brown signed the the bill AB 2348 on Saturday at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles. Starting January 1, women wanting the pill, patch or birth control ring will be able to get it without seeing a doctor. The bill allows nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives to distribute the hormonal contraceptives. Supporters say the state is facing a physician shortage especially in rural areas and this will help. “That created sometimes a delay in women’s ability to access hormonal birth control. So hopefully this will reduce the unintended pregnancies in California women,” said Gina Fischer, Planned Parenthood. Law makers passed the bill in August. “This bill did not get a Republican vote,” Governor Brown said on Saturday. Republican law makers argued only doctors have the medical expertise to provide birth control. “I think as long as they have adequate knowledge of the effects of the birth control and the patient’s history and kind of how those come together and the effects it can have on the patient, I believe it’s perfectly fine,” said Chelsea Fowler, Santa Barbara resident. “It’s really important to keep in mind that they’re all trained, they’re professionals, they’re licensed,” explained Fischer. The California Catholic Conference, which acts as the Catholic voice in state politics, opposes the bill. On their website, the organization states: “… The problem is not the lack of access to contraceptives but their ready access and this bill will allow even more medical personnel to hand them out.””In a way it is great but at the same time I feel like we need to educate younger generations, younger girls so they know what exactly is being offered to them,” said UCSB student Esteni Dominguez. Women can start getting the hormonal contraceptives in January but will need to see a doctor for an exam after three years. Birth control shots and intrauterine devices will still need to come from physicians.

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