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New Law Lets Nurses Dispense Birth Control in Doctor’s Absence

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, December 20, 2012

The measure allows registered nurses to give out hormonal contraceptives even when a doctor or other advanced practitioner is not on site. Clinic health teams will come up with standard protocols for registered nurses so they can dispense birth control pills, patches or rings.

Democratic Assemblymember Holly Mitchell carried the bill this past year.

MITCHELL:"The problem we were attempting to address is to expand the categories of health care professionals who can dispense hormonal contraceptives to reduce the wait time for women."

Planned Parenthood and a couple dozen other groups supported the bill. They say thousands of women in California currently have trouble getting birth control when they need it.
The California Nurses Association opposed the measure, citing concerns about quality of care and increasing the scope of practice for registered nurses. 'Right to life' groups were against the bill as well.  
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