HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaiian lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow nurses to perform abortions.
The decision made Thursday by the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee will advance the legislation to the full House for consideration.
The measure would allow advanced practice registered nurses to terminate a pregnancy through medication or suction, a medical procedure that uses suction to perform an abortion. Nurses must have prescriptive power, specialize in medical practice and have a valid license, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Although Hawaii legalized abortions in the 1970s, access to abortions is limited in several areas of the state, where residents must travel for the procedure, the bill says.
Hawaii would join 12 other states that allow nurses to perform abortions.
A six-year study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco found that first trimester abortions performed by nurses had safe results.
Hawaii Life Alliance, which opposes the bill, raised fears the law would increase the number of abortions.
“We urge you to prevent this from happening by making it clear that it is not within the purview or independence of an inferior health professional’s practice to perform abortion,” said the organization in his testimony.
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