California abortion activists rallied Tuesday to demand that college campuses provide free abortions to students.
The State Hornet reports students and lawmakers gathered outside the state capitol just days after the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed a bill mandating just that. It now moves to the full Assembly for a final vote; the state Senate passed the bill earlier this year.
Zoe Murray, 23, who had an abortion during her sophomore year at the University of California Santa Barbara, told the rally that she was “forced to go to an off-campus provider,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
Murray claimed it was a burden to go off campus – though even abortion supporters acknowledged that the average distance to an abortion facility from campus is only about 5 miles.
California Senate Bill 24 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 by the deadline of Jan. 1, 2023.
Concerns about safety, finances and preparation are mounting, but abortion activists do not seem to care. The California State Department of Finance recently recommended opposing the bill because of its huge financial burden on universities, but committee members passed it anyway.
The University of California and the California State University systems also said they are not prepared to handle the immense costs of providing abortions on campus, according to CBS 13 Sacramento. They pointed to the costs of ultrasound machines, staff training, increased liabilities and more.
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Even some abortion supporters oppose the legislation. Former Gov. Jerry Brown, a pro-abortion Democrat, vetoed a very similar bill in 2018, saying the measure was “not necessary” because abortions already are easily accessible to college students.
In his veto message, Brown pointed to a study from the supporters of the bill showing that the average distance to an abortion facility from campus was 5 to 7 miles.
But on Tuesday, abortion activists insisted that women need easy access to abortion if they want to be free.
“In my life, I was a businesswoman, I was a United States ambassador, and I’m the first woman ever elected lieutenant governor of California,” Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis said at the rally. “I am keenly aware that in my life, I would not have been able to do these things had I not had control over my own reproductive choices. This is the key element of liberating women.”
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are working hard to protect women and unborn babies against the new bill. Californians for Life collected more than 10,000 letters from people in opposition to the bill and delivered them to politicians.
In legislative hearings, they also expressed serious concerns about the safety of women, as well as the promotion of unborn babies’ abortion deaths on campuses across the state.
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 complications, 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.
The legislation does not support choices for pregnant and parenting students, either. 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.
A final vote on the bill could happen as early as this week.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, urged lawmakers to reject the radical pro-abortion bill.
“With more than 1,200 groups on college and university campuses, including more than 90 in California, I know firsthand that this generation supports helping both mothers and their pre-born children as a human right issue,” she said. “To protect the educational environment, avoid costly liability and legal costs, and affirm student health centers’ goal of doing no harm to those they serve, California legislators should reject the risky, costly and dangerous proposal that is SB-24.”