Much to the surprise and joy of pro-life advocates, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a controversial bill Sunday that would have forced colleges to provide free abortion drugs to students on campus.
Brown, a pro-abortion Democrat, said he vetoed the legislation because it is “not necessary,” the University of California Santa Barbara’s newspaper reports.
“According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” Brown said in a statement. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”
Senate Bill 320 would have required public universities and community colleges to provide free abortions drugs up to 10 weeks of pregnancy at their student health centers. The Washington Examiner reports abortion supporters planned to raise $9.6 million in private funds to help set up the program, but the rest would have been paid for with tax dollars.
Students for Life of America, whose California clubs worked hard to oppose the legislation, celebrated the news Sunday.
“Today’s veto is a victory for all women, students, and taxpayers in California,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of the organization. “Students for Life of America is proud to have worked alongside other pro-life groups in California to protect students from the dangerous RU-486 abortion drug. The Pro-Life Generation will continue to fight against all efforts to bring dangerous abortion drugs to college campuses.”
Pro-life advocates were not the only ones who raised concerns. Initially, California public colleges and universities also opposed the bill because of safety concerns and liabilities.
Many pointed out that college health centers are not prepared 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.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, said the bill is a victory for women and babies as well as taxpayers of California.
“The welcome demise of this deadly bill requiring distribution of chemical abortion drugs on UC and CSU campuses is not only a relief for campus administrators, but for California taxpayers who don’t want more blood on their hands,” Thomasson said. “Drugs that cause abortions have severe side effects and can also cause life-threatening complications. With chemical abortions, women always suffer and babies always perish.”
Abortion activists hoped the bill would become “a model across the country, for every state,” and state Sen. Connie M. Leyva, who sponsored the bill, said she has not given up. She told the Los Angeles Times she plans to re-introduce the legislation in 2019 when Brown no longer is in office.
Abortion activist Surina Khan, CEO of The Women’s Foundation of California, said they are disappointed. She claimed students “need abortion” on campus.
“We choose to listen to students, not those in power who continually deny their reproductive rights,” Khan said. “We deserve a system that works for the student[s] of California.”
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 summer.