Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 320, a bill that would have required every public university in the state to provide abortion pills. Unfortunately, California is trying to pass this legislation once again, and it has been reintroduced in the new legislative session as SB 24. Advocates of the bill have also called it the “College Student Right to Access Act.”
In his veto, Gov. Brown briefly explained why he opposed the bill, stating abortion was a “long-protected right” in California but that forcing universities to offer abortion pills was “not necessary” because there are already abortion clinics within five to seven miles of most campuses.
While I am thankful that Gov. Brown vetoed this bill, I certainly don’t agree with his logic for doing so. The ability to kill human life should never be referred to as a right, and turning campus health centers into abortion providers is a terrible idea regardless of whether an abortion clinic is near campus or not. Brown essentially states that women should have an abortion center within a certain radius of their place of living, and he only vetoed the bill because that circumstance already exists. Brown expressed no concern in his veto for how campus abortions would be dangerous for pregnant mothers or lethal for innocent unborn babies.
According to NPR, implementing SB 320 would have cost an estimated $14 million and several pro-choice organizations agreed to cover this cost. However, the bill is written to allow the expenses to be covered by other means as well, and nothing in the bill restricts student health fees from being allocated towards medical abortion procedures. This loophole has the potential to allow the state to force pro-life college students to pay for the abortions of other students on campus through obligatory student fees. This subsidized system, if put in place, would violate the consciences of students opposed to abortion.
Despite Governor Brown’s opposition, this radical bill may very well come into law. The Democrats now have an even stronger majority in both chambers of the California state legislature than they did last year. Their 26-14 majority in the State Senate grew to 28-10, and their 55-25 majority in the State Assembly grew to 61-19. Additionally, Gov. Newsome appears to be a stronger pro-choice advocate than Gov. Brown was.
This California bill would only force campuses to provide medication abortions, which are performed in the first trimester. While this early-term abortion procedure is more common than late-term procedures, it still presents the mother with some concerning health risks. In this procedure outlined in the bill, the woman takes a pill called Mifepristone which detaches the human embryo from the uterine lining and prevents the child from receiving oxygen and nutrients, causing the child to die from suffocation. The woman then takes a second drug called Misoprostol, which causes cramping and vaginal bleeding to expel the dead embryo out of the uterus.
SB 24 could present a substantial liability risk for the universities and put students’ safety in jeopardy because of the limitations on student health centers. Abortion procedures can be dangerous to the mother, so most states subject abortion facilities to numerous regulations to help protect the safety of women. California already doesn’t hold its abortion facilities to any of these regulations, but requiring universities to prescribe medical abortions on campus takes pro-choice radicalism even further. These campus health facilities are not properly equipped to handle the needs of women who experience complications from their medical abortions.
California voters should recognize that this bill threatens the safety of female college students, and the universities should recognize that their funds are best spent helping their students succeed in their education – not on helping them abort their children. Whenever pro-choice politicians want to prioritize abortion access over the safety of women, voters must push back. [Tweet that!]
Despite Gov. Brown’s veto last fall, the fight against campus abortions in California is far from over, and pro-lifers must demand Gov. Newsome to veto SB 24 when it likely passes the legislature and arrives at his desk. Kristan Hawkins, the President of Students for Life of America, has said opposing this legislation is not just about defending life in California. If California passes the bill, Hawkins believes other states will follow. This prediction seems especially plausible after several states quickly followed New York’s move to decriminalize third-trimester abortion in January. If SB 24 passes, campus abortion pill mandates could become the new frontier of pro-choice policy, but if the bill fails, it would be a massive victory protecting unborn lives at college campuses across the nation.
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The post “California Reintroduces Campus Abortion Bill” originally appeared at the Equal Rights Institute blog. Subscribe to our email list with the form below and get a FREE gift. Click here to learn more about our pro-life apologetics course, “Equipped for Life: A Fresh Approach to Conversations About Abortion.”