California Senate Committee Passes Bill Mandating Free Abortions at All Colleges and Universities

State   Micaiah Bilger   Apr 5, 2019   |   1:10PM    Sacramento, CA

A California Senate committee approved an abortion expansion bill Wednesday that would force all public colleges and universities to provide abortion drugs to students on campus.

The Daily Californian reports the state Senate Health Committee voted 7-3 to move forward with Senate Bill 24, a new version of a bill that even pro-abortion Gov. Jerry Brown called “unnecessary” in 2018.

The bill would require all public colleges and universities in California to provide abortion drugs to students on campus. It would require that the drugs be offered for free to students up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

“SB 24 is an important step toward ensuring the right to abortion is available to all Californians and that our college students don’t face unnecessary barriers,” said state Sen. Connie Leyva, the sponsor, in a statement. “Students should not have to travel off campus or miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive care that can easily be provided at a student health center.”

Leyva, a pro-abortion Democrat, pushed similar legislation in 2018. However, Brown vetoed it, saying the measure was “not necessary” because abortions already are easily accessible to college students in California.

“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 when he vetoed the bill. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”

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Leya re-introduced her bill anyway this year, and new Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he supports it.

On Wednesday, pro-life advocates urged the committee to consider the potential risks and liabilities of forcing colleges to provide abortion drugs.

Marylee Shrider, political advocacy chair for Californians for Life, cited FDA statistics showing the serious risks associated with abortion drugs. The FDA has documented at least 4,000 cases of serious adverse events, including more than 1,000 women who required hospitalization; in addition, at least 22 women died after using the drug.

“Medication abortions on college campuses are not only unnecessary, they are contraindicated,” Shrider said.

She pointed to Brown’s statement debunking the notion that students have to travel hours to get abortions.

However, student abortion activist Phoebe Abramowitz at UC Berkeley told the committee that students do not have “equitable access” to abortion on campus.

“Students are really, really supportive of SB 24,” Abramowitz said. “Students don’t need to accept a watered-down definition of pro-choice — we can and must demand actual equitable access for all of us.”

But the legislation does not support choices for pregnant and parenting students. It supports abortions. Nowhere in the legislation are provisions for students who chose to parent their child. There is no requirement that campuses offer prenatal care to pregnant students or child care to parenting students.

Initially, California public colleges and universities opposed Leyva’s bill because of safety concerns and liabilities. They pointed out that college health centers are not equipped to provide abortions. Additionally, most college health centers are not open in the evenings or on weekends, so they would not be able to treat complications.

California is one of the most radical states in regards to abortion access. Later term, elective abortions are legal, and girls as young as age 12 can obtain abortions without parental knowledge or consent.

Action: Contact California state lawmakers in opposition to the bill.