In 2013, California lawmakers passed legislation (AB 154) that expanded the pool of clinicians available to perform first-trimester abortions. This legislative change was grounded in the California Health Workforce Pilot Project #171 (HWPP-171), a six-year study that provided conclusive evidence that abortion is very safe, whether it is provided by a nurse practitioner (NP), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), a physician assistant (PA), or a physician. The findings of HWPP-171 support the adoption of policies that increase access to abortion by increasing the number of health professionals qualified to perform first trimester abortions. The abortion care provided in this study received extremely positive ratings from large numbers of patients across 25 separate facilities. Study findings also affirm the acceptability of NPs, CNMs, and PAs as abortion care providers and their potential to expand the abortion care workforce.
Taylor D, Battistelli M, Anderson P, Arida J. Safety and acceptability of NPs, CNMs, and PAs as abortion providers. November 2017.