A California bill that would force public universities to provide women easy access to the abortion pill so they can “stay on track” passed a legislative committee Wednesday.
The bill, SB 24, passed the state Senate education committee 5-2, three weeks after it also passed the Senate health committee, 7-2. Its next stop is the appropriations committee.
If passed, it would require “each student health care services clinic” on a “California State University or University of California campus” to “offer abortion by medication techniques,” according to the bill’s text. Each campus would receive a grant of $200,000.
There are more than 400,000 female students within California’s public university system.
“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. “When pregnant young people decide that abortion is the best option for them, having early, accessible care can help them stay on track to achieve their educational and other aspirational life plans.”
Abortion, the bill says, is a “constitutional right and an integral part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.”
The abortion pill includes two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to break down and kill the unborn baby. Misoprostol sparks contractions and a delivery of the dead child. They can be taken only early in the pregnancy.
John Gerardi of Right to Life of Central California said the bill’s success demonstrates “how abortion ideology is running roughshod over common sense in Sacramento.”
“At 10 weeks,” Gerardi wrote, “a fetus has arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, sex characteristics, a heartbeat, and a working brain – distinguishably a living, human organism. The medications are ingested in a clinical setting under the supervision of medical personnel. However, the actual expelling of the fetus and its attendant complications generally occurs at home or – as supporters of this bill seem to think appropriate – in a college dormitory bathroom of questionable sanitation.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill last year.
“Even someone as committed to abortion rights as Brown,” Gerardi added, “recognized that California public universities have no obligation to furnish their students with walking-distance, government-furnished access to abortion, or to remove every conceivable hindrance to its access.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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