The Most Rev. Gerald Wilkerson, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and President of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today following the Governor's approval of AB 154 (Atkins) to allow abortions to be performed by non-physicians and AB 980 (Pan) to lower building standards in facilities that provide abortions.
"We are disappointed that Governor Brown has signed AB 154 and AB 980, which together dramatically increase the availability of abortion in California—the state in which 12 percent of Americans reside but 29 percent of all the nation's abortions occur. We oppose abortion, and until it becomes illegal, we will oppose measures which expand it—especially when it is at the expense of the girls and women undergoing the procedure.
"This change in the law will effectively create a two-tier health system. Physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives—with eight week's training—can now perform first trimester abortions in primary care clinics not designed for surgery. Most of their clients will be women and girls who are poor, whereas women and girls with means will seek out physicians with surgical skills and hospital admitting privileges for their abortions.
"The often repeated mantra of those supporting abortions rights is that abortions ought to be safe, legal and rare. With this change in California's law, abortions are merely legal—no longer safe and rare. We pray for the day when abortion is no longer legal."