The California legislature edged closer to passing a bill this week that would force colleges and universities to provide free abortion drugs to students.
On Wednesday, the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education voted to advance the bill in an 8-3 vote. It now heads to another committee for review. The pro-abortion legislation passed the state Senate in January.
Senate Bill 320, sponsored by pro-abortion Democrat Sen. Connie Leyva, would require California public universities and community colleges to provide abortions drugs up to 10 weeks of pregnancy at their student health centers. It also would require the taxpayer-funded schools to cover the cost of the abortions in their student health insurance plans. If passed, the pro-abortion mandate would go into effect in 2020.
“The abortion pill is safe, effective, and simple to provide. It can —and should—be offered on campus at student health centers,” said Sarah Hutchinson, policy director at the pro-abortion group ACT for Women and Girls. “By voting for this bill, our legislators are voting to support the personal and academic success of California students—and that’s good for everyone.”
But pro-life college students have been some of the most vocal advocates against the legislation.
“The bill sends the wrong message to pregnant students on our campuses. Parenthood and success are not incompatible,” Bernadette Tasy, president of the Fresno State Students for Life group, wrote recently in the Fresno Bee. “Thousands of student-parents within the CSU [California State University] and UC [University of California] systems graduate every year, and we should advocate for programs to support and encourage pregnant and parenting students.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, warned of the dangers of the bill for both unborn babies and young mothers earlier this summer.
“This push to reconfigure the life-saving, health affirming purpose of school health centers into abortion vendors goes against the mission of the medical centers and exposes women and the schools to great risk,” Hawkins said. “We know that women have died taking such drugs, a danger and liability that the school health centers are not prepared to confront …”
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Initially, the California public colleges and universities also opposed the bill because of safety concerns and liabilities. Their position now is neutral.
Some of the concerns are that college health centers do not have the equipment to provide abortions. Ultrasounds are vitally important in determining an unborn baby’s gestational age and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, which can be deadly if not detected, but college health centers typically do not have the expensive machines.
Most college health centers also are not open in the evenings or on weekends, so they would not be able to treat complications. According to the FDA, complications from the abortion drugs include excessive bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion requiring surgery and death of the woman.
The abortion pills are responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn babies and dozens of women worldwide; and they have injured at least 1,100 women in the United States, as of 2006 figures from the FDA. A Planned Parenthood study admits at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion pills daily.
If the bill becomes law, California would be the first state to force public universities to provide abortions to students. Abortion activists hope the bill will become “a model across the country, for every state.”
California laws already are some of the most hostile to unborn babies in the world. Late-term, elective abortions are legal, and girls as young as 12 can get an abortion without a parent’s knowledge or permission.
The state forces taxpayers to fund abortions through Medi-Cal, and allows non-doctors to perform abortions. It also tried to force pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortions, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the law earlier this week.