The California Senate approved a bill requiring the state’s public universities and colleges to offer abortion drugs at their health centers.
Senate Bill 320, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Connie Leyva, requires the state’s community colleges and public universities to provide women with abortion pills for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy so that they don’t have to travel to get the pills.
The bill is critical, Leyva told ABC News, because women in college should have the same access to reproductive health care as other women. “Women do not lose the constitutional right to end a pregnancy simply because they are a college student,” Leyva said. She claims the bill is a necessity so that young collegiate women don’t have to foot the cost of abortions themselves or travel long distances to have abortions.
San Francisco’s Tara Foundation and an anonymous donor have agreed to cover implementation costs estimated between $14 million and $20 million, ABC reported.
If passed, the bill won’t take effect until 2020, but would also require California’s public university health centers that don’t already offer abortion pills to provide transportation to an abortion facility or to arrange an abortion for students requesting the procedure. The state’s health centers already provide reproductive services like birth control, condoms and STD testing.
“If a UC, CSU or community college already has a student health center, it makes sense that they provide this health care service within that facility so that students do not have to travel many miles away from their work and school commitments in order to [have an abortion],” Leyva said, according to LifeNews.
“Not only will this bill destroy the lives of innocent children, but the chemical abortion medication being mandated has a notorious reputation for being very painful and traumatic,” California Family Council CEO Jonathan Keller said, LifeNews reported. “These drugs are known for not just causing physical pain to the mother, but psychological anguish that could last a lifetime.”
Pro-lifers are also displeased that the already tax-payer funded colleges would require citizens against abortion to fund those procedures at the state’s public higher education institutions.
Advocacy group Californians for Life also expressed displeasure over the proposed measure. “These pills will hurt our daughters and end the lives of our grandchildren by forcefully inducing a miscarriage up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, with hemorrhaging and delivery of the baby into the dorm room toilet,” the group said in a statement.
The pro-life group is made up of a diverse coalition of students, educators, legislative advocates, churches, families, business owners and citizens who are united together to end abortion in California, according to the organization’s website.
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