California’s Quiet Reproductive Rights Revolution
EUREKA, Calif. - It did not look particularly like a history-making day in the Redwoods. The jars of condoms and the pinned-up primer on the HPV vaccine at the Six Rivers Planned Parenthood were undisturbed, and the waiting room was no more taxed than any other Saturday. The usual lone protester, loosely referred to as “the pastor,” had come early, before the clinic even opened, and gone home.
But inside the employee kitchen, there was proof of something special about this January morning, days after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” read a note affixed to some irises. “Today we make history!!!” Another card thanked one nurse practitioner by name for “blazing the trail.”
Thanks to a law passed last year, California is actually adding abortion providers - nearly fifty nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians’ assistants, trained to provide aspiration abortions in the first trimester -with more to come.
PHOTO BY EMILY SHUR FOR MSNBC
Debbie Bamberger, a Bay area-nurse practitioner who has just become an abortion provider.
The state is bucking a nationwide trend as a wave of new restrictions is forcing abortion providers across the country to shut their doors. In Texas, the second-largest state after California, initial enforcement of a law passed last year initially put a third of the clinics of the state out of commission, and when new regulations go into effect in September, all but a half-dozen clinics are expected to close.