California Legislature Passes Bill Mandating Free Abortions at All Colleges and Universities

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 16, 2019   |   1:56PM   |   Sacramento, CA

California college campuses soon may be forced to provide free abortions to students after the state legislature passed a radical pro-abortion bill Friday.

Despite numerous concerns expressed by pro-lifers, the colleges and the state finance department, the state Assembly voted 55-19 in favor of Senate Bill 24, The Hill reports.

The bill, which now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, mandates that all public colleges and universities provide abortion drugs for free to students up to 10 weeks of pregnancy by Jan. 1, 2023. Newsom, a pro-abortion Democrat, is expected to sign the bill.

“California legislators are recklessly experimenting with students’ lives and health by advancing a plan to force school health centers to become abortion vendors,” Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins told in reaction to the vote.

Pro-life students and student leaders repeatedly testified against the bill, and they have been raising awareness about the dangers of the abortion drugs to women and their unborn babies. The pro-life organization noted that the bill does not include conscience protections for campus employees or pregnancy/parenting support for students who choose life for their babies.

Pro-life advocates are not alone in their concerns. The California State Department of Finance recently recommended opposing the bill because of its huge financial burden on universities.

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.

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.

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Brown pointed to a study from the supporters of the bill showing that the average distance to an abortion facility from campus was only about 5 miles.

But abortion activists insisted that women need easy access to abortion, and reintroduced the bill under the new governor.

“It’s about access. Just because you have a constitutional right, if you don’t have access to that constitutional right, then it’s really no right at all,” state Sen. Connie Levya, a Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill, told Vice. “I’m tired of women being shamed.”

If the bill becomes law, 34 public college campuses in the state would be forced to begin providing abortion drugs. According to the bill, lawmakers hope to collect about $10 million in private donations to help campuses set up their abortion practices. The state Commission on the Status of Women and Girls will be in charge of overseeing the funding.

However, a California Department of Finance report predicted that the donations will not be nearly enough to fund the program over the next several years. That means California taxpayers and students will be forced to pay for unborn babies to be aborted across the state, John Gerardi, executive director of Right to Life of Central California, told Vice.

“The arguments we’re making here are not the viewpoints of a bunch of right-wing nutjobs here,” Gerardi said. “I mean, Jerry Brown agreed with us.”

Nick Reynosa, northern regional coordinator for Students for Life, expressed concerns about a lack of conscience protections as well. Without them, campus employees could be forced to help abort unborn babies in violation of their beliefs.

“This bill represents a continued pattern of attacks on conscience rights, which have been supported at the court level,” Reynosa wrote at National Review. “And Californians, especially pro-life Californians, will continue to fight to protect their rights.”

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a similar bill in their state, according to The Hill.

ACTION: Contact Gov. Gavin Newsom and ask him to veto the bill.