Pro-life Californians are flooding Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office with messages urging him to veto a bill that would force colleges to provide free abortions on campus.
The pro-abortion bill, which passed the state legislature in September, mandates that all public colleges and universities provide abortion drugs for free to students up to 10 weeks of pregnancy starting Jan. 1, 2023.
Newsom, a pro-abortion Democrat, must make a decision by Oct. 13. Though he supported the legislation on the campaign trail, he could still change his mind.
According to the Religion News Service, multiple pro-life groups in California are encouraging people to contact Newsom and urge him to oppose the bill.
Calling the bill “unprecedented and unnecessary,” California Catholic Conference Executive Director Andrew Rivas said the bill is not even pro-choice. He said it “purposely narrows a young woman’s choices” by promoting abortion, not all pregnancy and parenting options on campus.
Here’s more from the report:
The California Family Council, an organization that works to “protect and foster Judeo-Christian principles in California’s laws,” urged its followers to call Newsom to discourage him from signing the bill.
Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, criticized the state Assembly vote that moved the bill forward. He said it was just a way to “score points with Planned Parenthood.”
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Catholics this summer were also called to pray as part of a statewide novena Aug. 3-11 that sought the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to stop the legislation.
Last week, Californians for Life reported delivering more than 19,000 letters to Newsom’s office, urging him to veto the bill.
The legislation has been met with wide-spread concern, including from the colleges and Newsom’s own state Department of Finance, as well as pro-life advocates. 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.
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.
The University of California and the California State University systems also have expressed concerns about the bill. They 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.
But abortion activists insisted that women need easy access to abortion.
“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.
“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 LifeNews.com 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 any type of support for students who choose life for their babies.
Action: Contact Gov. Gavin Newsom.