The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

California expands early abortion access, defying national trend

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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation Wednesday expanding access to a specific early abortion procedure, by allowing nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform it during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The procedure, known as an aspiration abortion, removes a fetus by using a suction tube. Four other states -- Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont -- allow nurse practitioners to conduct the procedure.