A California law requires all schools within the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems to offer abortion pills beginning Jan 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 320, also known as College Student Right to Access Act, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. This bill mandates that all CSU/UC student health centers stockpile drugs for abortion and train medical personnel to use them.
“SB 24 reaffirms the right of every college student to access abortion,” Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), who introduced the bill, said in a statement at the time. College students won’t have to decide between getting abortion care on campus or traveling long distances, or missing classes or working .”
Medication Abortion, also known as the abortion pill or Medication, requires that patients take two pills. One blocks the hormone that is needed to have a pregnancy. The second causes contractions of muscles and bleeding to empty your uterus. The medication can be used up to the 10th week of pregnancy.
“Research shows that medication abortion is safe and effective and has a success rate of over 95 percent and serious adverse events occur in only 0.3 percent of instances,” according to a press release by Leyva’s office.
California is now the only state to offer abortion access on university campuses.
“As other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom, in California we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming a woman’s right [to] choose,” Newsom said in a 2019 statement.
Many student groups and women’s rights organizations supported the law, such as the Cal State Student Association and University of California Student Association.
The bill followed a resolution passed by the student government at UC Berkeley in 2016 urging its health center to include medication abortion in its services. Students without transportation to access abortion clinics nearby could be faced with both academic and financial obstacles, according to the student government.
Previously, a similar bill was vetoed by former governor Jerry Brown in 2018. He said the bill was “not necessary” since students could have access to medication abortion at off-campus clinics within an average distance of “five to seven miles,” according to Brown’s veto statement.
During a 2018 Senate education committee hearing, Anna Arend, the Northern California regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, expressed safety concerns about having abortion pills on campus, on behalf of students who opposed the bill.
She stated that abortion by medication can cause bleeding, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, fever, chills and nausea. Sometimes, emergency surgery is necessary to stop bleeding. She said that the procedure can have long-lasting mental and physical effects.
” The trauma is incomparable. She said that this isn’t healthy for students.