California Bill Looking to allow on Campus Access to Abortion Pills
A proposed bill was introduced in February 2017 that would ensure that students at four-year public universities in the state have access on campus to medication for abortions. The bill, Senate Bill 320 (SB 320), was introduced by state Senator Connie Leyva and would require all health centers within the University of California and California State University systems to stock the drugs prescribed for medications for an abortion and ready their campus health clinics to provide them by 2022. The campaign for the proposed bill essentially began at UC Berkeley in 2016, when the student government passed a resolution that urged the health center at the school to include medication for an abortion in its services. Adiba Khan, who is co-founder of Students United for Reproductive Justice and the author of the resolution, noticed that the student health service did not offer medications for abortions, yet they offered 18 forms of contraception. State Senator Leyva stated,
When they were denied, they brought the issue to us, and I thought that this was something that young women should have access to, because it is their constitutional right.
The bill is progressing in California’s Legislature, even as other states have taken steps to limit access to medications for an abortion. Medications for an abortion involve two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, that a woman can take at a clinic or at home to terminate pregnancies less than 10 weeks along. California is the only state considering a measure like this and current state law requires all health insurers to provide abortion coverage and sets no waiting period for abortion procedures. The bill passed the Senate floor last month and is awaiting a vote in the Assembly. We will have to wait and see if the bill becomes a law and if it passes, where the funding for its mandates will come from since the bill doesn’t specify the use of any state or university money.