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California law is first of 2013 to expand abortion access

California becomes the first state this year to enact a law that expands access to abortion.
/ Source: Now With Alex

California becomes the first state this year to enact a law that expands access to abortion.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Wednesday allowing nurses and midwives to perform certain types of first-term abortions, giving women greater options to undergo an abortion when it’s most safe and least expensive. The new law will have a direct impact on women’s health. As MSNBC’s  Irin Carmon notes, “If you make it easier to access an abortion, earlier, and from a legitimate provider, there will be fewer desperate customers turning to unsafe providers.”

But California’s action on women’s rights is just a drop in a sea of anti-abortion legislation across the country. The ACLU of Northern California reports that nationwide, the California measure is the first law in 2013 that expands abortion access. Meanwhile, 473 bills have been introduced to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and 68 of those have become law.

Ilyse Hogue, the President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said on NOW with Alex Wagner Thursday that the anti-abortion laws are mainly being passed “in the dark of night” as attachments to budget bills and other unrelated legislation. She argued that “even these legislatures, who are driven by this extreme ideology, know how out of step they are — but they want to hide it.”

Watch Alex Wagner’s full discussion with Ilyse Hogue and the NOW panel above.