California is considering a bill that would force student health centers at public colleges in the state to provide abortion pills to female students by 2020.
This week the Senate Education Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 320, also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act.”
"More than 400,000 students classified as female are educated at California's public university campuses, and it is central to the mission of California's public university student health centers to minimize the negative impact of health concerns on students' studies and to facilitate retention and graduation," argued the bill.
"The state has an interest in ensuring that every pregnant person in California who wants to have an abortion can obtain access to that care as easily and as early in pregnancy as possible.”
The bill says the State Treasurer should establish a Medication Abortion Implementation Fund that would give grants to public colleges to buy abortion-inducing drugs.
"SB 320 ensures that university students are able to receive comprehensive health care services on campus—which includes receiving safe medication abortion services without needless delays or obstacles," said Senator Connie Leyva, author of the bill.
"Students should not have to travel long distances, pay out of pocket or even miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive health care that can be provided at an on-campus facility that is specifically designed for student health care."
Pro-life supporters, however, say the bill isn’t needed.
"There is no lack of access," said Californians for Life Director Wynette Sills, adding that the average distance to an abortion clinic from a California campus is about six miles.
"Sen. Leyva's bill is all about abortion, abortion and more abortion rather than addressing the needs of housing and scholarships and adjustable exam schedules and all of those concerns that a young woman would have."
The bill will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.
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Publication date: January 12, 2018