LOS ANGELES (AP) — During a visit to a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinic, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows nurses to dispense birth control, making it easier for women to get contraceptives.
The Democratic governor was joined Saturday by women's health advocates who cheered the signing of AB2348.
"At a time when some seek to turn back the clock and restrict women's health choices, California is expanding access to birth control and reaffirming every woman's basic Constitutional rights," Brown said.
The bill, authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), was passed by lawmakers in August. It allows registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives to dispense the pill, patches and rings.
Julie Rabinovitz, head of the California Family Health Council, applauded the governor for working to expand access to contraception for women.
"With his signature, the governor also took action to address provider shortages statewide by allowing RNs to work to the full extent of their scope and training," Rabinovitz said Saturday. "This is especially important in our changing health care landscape."
Also Saturday, Brown announced the signing of a bill requiring extra warnings for the 40 percent of women over the age of 40 who have breast tissue dense enough to mask or mimic cancers on mammograms.
The bill, SB1538, also requires that a range of screening options are available.
Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2011, expressing doubts about whether the warnings were what he termed "a path to greater knowledge or unnecessary anxiety." Since then it was amended to include notice language negotiated with the governor's office and health care interest groups, according to state Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who authored the bill.
Simitian thanked Brown "for his willingness to listen to and work with us on this issue over the past year."