The California Senate Health Committee April 3 approved SB 24, a bill to give students on all UC and USC campuses access to free medical abortions on demand. SB 24, titled the “College Student Right to Access Act,” now goes to the full state Senate for a vote. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he would support the bill if it reaches his desk.
A nearly identical bill (SB 320) was introduced by State Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) in 2017. SB 320 was vetoed in September, 2018 by then governor Jerry Brown, who said it was not necessary. Leyva introduced SB 24 in December, 2018.
The bill originated out of lobbying by the Students United for Reproductive Justice organization (SURJ) at UC Berkeley. The group sought help from the Women’s Policy Institute, which is part of the Women’s Foundation of California. The Institute sought Leyva’s assistance, who then agreed to file the abortion bill.
In a statement on her web site, Leyva said, “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. 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.”
California taxpayers would be mandated to provide the funding needed to give “free” chemical abortions to students on campus by 2023.”
To fund the mandate, the measure would allocate $200,000 in grant money to each of California’s 33 public university student health centers, covering the costs of “medication abortion readiness” which includes the purchase of equipment, facility and security upgrades, and training staff members.
The bill also would require the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to administer the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, which the bill would establish.
The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in that fund to the commission for grants to these student health care clinics for specified activities in preparation for providing abortion by medication techniques, thereby making an appropriation.
The bill would additionally require that at least $10,290,000 in private moneys is made available to the fund in a timely manner on or after January 1, 2020.
According to research from the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, and the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, at the University of California, San Francisco, chemical abortions are already widespread among students. The groups estimate that California public college students undergo approximately 300-500 chemical abortions each month, and with serious risks.
The drug Mifepristone/RU-486, which ends the life of the unborn child, and Misoprostol which causes severe cramping, contractions, and bleeding to expel the baby from the womb, are used together in chemical abortions.
Approximately 3.4 million women have used Mifepristone in the US for the medical termination of pregnancy through the end of December 2017, an increase of approximately 163,000 since June 2017. 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.