California universities may soon be handing out abortion pills on campus thanks to a new bill called SB 24 – also known as the "College Student Right to Access Act."
California State Senator Connie Levya introduced the bill earlier this month and said in a press release it would strengthen "access to safe and timely reproductive health care."
"The bill would require, on and after January 1, 2023, each student health care services clinic on a California State University or University of California campus to offer abortion by medication techniques, as specified," the law reads. "It is the intent of the Legislature that public university student health centers make abortion by medication techniques as accessible and cost-effective for students as possible, and thus public university student health centers should treat abortion by medication techniques as a basic health service."
Sen Levya introduced the legislation after Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in September. In his veto message, Brown wrote that the law was unnecessary because abortion pills are "widely available" at off-campus clinics.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported the original bill and argued that students face a substantial financial burden to have to travel off campus to receive abortion-inducing drugs. Meanwhile, pro-life groups urged California leaders not to adopt the bill.
The California Catholic Conference, Inc., says the bill "blatantly discriminates against students and health care providers who do not support abortion and hold a pro-life point of view, and that by turning college campuses into a one-stop shop that offers abortions on-demand without connection to appropriate medical care," according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. (LINK)
The group also argued the bill "discriminates against women by limiting the information and assistance that they need and deserve."
The Capitol Resource Institute (CRI) also opposed the bill and said mandating abortion to be available on all public universities "will cut down the effort, and therefore the thought, behind making a decision to get an abortion."
The current bill cites The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as having found that "prescribing abortion by medication techniques is no different from prescribing other medications."
Donna Harrison, the executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says abortion pills can be deadly.
"The false idea that drug-induced abortion is 'safe' is an often repeated mantra which flies in the face of the fact that studies show almost one out of five women will experience a major complication like excessive bleeding, infection, tissue left inside or other complications resulting in an emergency room visit and possibly emergency surgery to complete the abortion," Harrison told The College Fix.