Jan 1, 2013
The new California law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown to allow women access to drugs, including contraceptives like The Pill, patches, shots and rings, without visiting a doctor.
Assembly Bill 2348, introduced by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), allows registered nurses to dispense and administer certain drugs, including birth control, instead of requiring a doctor to sign each prescription.
The new California law also lets RNs dispense "drugs and devices" upon an order by a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), a nurse practitioner (NP), or a physician assistant (PA) while functioning within specified clinic settings.
AB 2348 received no Republican support because GOP lawmakers insist that only licensed medical doctors have the medical expertise to provide hormonal contraceptives and other drugs.
The controversial legislation passed due to a Democratic majority in the Legislature.
AB 2348 was sponsored by Planned Parenthood but opposed by the California Catholic Conference and other groups that stood against the legislation on moral or spiritual grounds.
"Today we're realizing the dream that women have the right to control their own destiny, not some guys in the Legislature who think they know better," Governor Brown declared as he signed the women's health legislation.
"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," said Governor Brown.
Assembly Bill 2348, the "Access to Birth Control Law" or "Nurse Drug Dispensation Law" is now in effect.