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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation extending an ongoing pilot program allowing nurse practitioners and other clinicians to perform non-surgical abortions, his office announced this afternoon.

Senate Bill 623, by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, was supported by Planned Parenthood and opposed by abortion rights opponents.

The bill extends until Jan. 1, 2014 a pilot program to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of allowing nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to provide aspiration abortions.

Brown also signed Senate Bill 1538, by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, requiring facilities conducting mammography examinations to give special notice to patients who have dense breast that they may benefit from additional screening.

Simitian's office said language included in the notification was negotiated with Brown's office after the Democratic governor vetoed similar legislation last year.

"This is a life saver," Simitian said in a prepared statement. "I'm tremendously thankful for the Governor's support of this measure, and for his willingness to listen to and work with us on this issue over the past year."


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