Delaware governor signs bill expanding abortion access and provider protection

The Democratic governor signed House Bill 455 after it passed in the General Assembly on Tuesday, according to his office. The bill includes several provisions that will increase access and protections to abortion services throughout the state.

“It’s a great day for women in Delaware. I can’t stop crying,” Democratic state House Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, the bill’s sponsor, told CNN by phone.

Under the bill, licensed physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives who are properly trained will be allowed to “terminate pregnancy before viability.” The bill would also protect individuals from “extradition for committing an act that results in a criminal charge for the termination of pregnancy in another state.”

Individuals who obtain, provide, recommend or assist others in obtaining services to terminate pregnancies in the state are protected under HB 455 from civil actions in another state, according to the bill.

“Women who travel to Delaware are going to be protected,” Minor-Brown said. “We are going to protect women because we are good neighbors, and we want to meet women with open arms.”

Additionally, the bill protects providers from disclosing communications and records regarding reproductive health services, with an exception for records that are requested for the purpose of investigating a complaint against a health care provider.

The bill further protects abortion providers who perform, recommend or provide legal reproductive health services in the state by not subjecting them to other states’ regulations and disciplinary actions.

GOP state Sen. Bryant Richardson countered in a statement emailed to CNN that “under House Bill 455 training will be minimal and not in the best interest of the patient.”

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