Massachusetts Bill Would Mandate Free Abortions at All Colleges and Universities

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 8, 2021   |   10:23AM   |   Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts lawmakers want to follow California in becoming the second state to force public colleges and universities to provide free abortion drugs to students.

Legislation (House Bill 2399/Senate Bill 1470) sponsored by state Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Sen. Jason Lewis would require student health centers to provide abortion drugs up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and refer students for abortions that are not provided on campus, State House News Service reports.

California passed a similar law in 2019, the first in the nation to do so. Abortion activists claim college students need easy access to abortion because having a child in school gets in the way of women’s education.

“People who give birth while in college are less likely to graduate than those who do not and 89 percent of students say that having a child while in school would make it harder to achieve their goals,” said Carrie Baker, professor of women and gender studies at Smith College.

According to Baker’s research, up to 768 public college students have medication abortions in Massachusetts annually. She estimated that they travel between two and 42 miles for an abortion.

Pro-life advocates, however, emphasized the dangers of the legislation for both unborn babies and mothers during a recent legislative hearing.

“I want you to imagine a daughter of yours being sent off to college, only to learn that the school is an adjunct to places like Planned Parenthood,” Dr. Mark Rollo, a family physician from Fitchburg, told lawmakers. “I am sickened by the thought of a young woman hemorrhaging while she sits on the toilet in a college dormitory or looking into the toilet to see a fully formed fetus about to be flushed.”

Abortion drugs are dangerous and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn baby. A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.

If the bill passes, Massachusetts taxpayers would be forced to pay for these abortions through a new fund through the state Department of Public Health and Department of Higher Education, according to the report. Colleges and universities would be offered grants of up to $200,000 to set up their health care centers to begin providing abortion drugs.

The bill also would require the health department to keep track of the number of abortions provided by the schools every year.

Debby Dugan, a pro-life advocate and member of the Republican State Committee, urged lawmakers to vote no during a legislative hearing, the report states.

“[Abortion] enslaves them to a lifetime of shame and guilt,” she said. “I beseech you not to do this. As a Christian woman, I believe each and every one of us will be held accountable for our actions. And you ladies and gentlemen, also will be held accountable for your actions today.”

ACTION ALERT: Click here to  ask Massachusetts state lawmakers to oppose the bill.

Massachusetts lawmakers considered similar legislation two years ago.

The California law was met with wide-spread opposition. Even pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an earlier version of it, saying it 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 five miles.

However, Gov. Gavin Newsom later signed a new version into law.

The University of California and the California State University systems also expressed concerns about the legislation. 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.

Despite the opposition, abortion activists expressed hope the California law would become “a model across the country, for every state.”

Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins told, previously, “The Pro-Life Generation will not sit back and watch their college and university campuses be turned into Planned Parenthood’s new money making machine.”

The student organization fought against the bill in California, and Hawkins said her organization is preparing to help students in other states are considering similar legislation.

ACTION ALERT: Click here to  ask Massachusetts state lawmakers to oppose the bill.