SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California lawmakers discussed a controversial bill that would require the abortion pill to be offered at all state colleges and universities.
Medicated abortion is a procedure that allows a woman still early in her pregnancy to take two pills to induce an abortion.
“I will be asking you, are you pro-choice or pro-abortion?” said one woman.
Political tensions were high Wednesday over a proposed law allowing California college students to end their pregnancies on campus.
“This bill would just provide another option,” said Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chico).
Senator Leyva says her privately-funded measure will supply state schools with a two-pill dose. The medicine triggers an early miscarriage.
“We hear a lot about the unborn life or child. We never talk about the woman who is pregnant,” said Leyva.
Opponents say they’re also advocating for the mother.
“…who are choosing pregnancy and parenthood — and this does not address the needs of those women,” said Bernadette Tasy, President of the Fresno State Students For Life.
“I believe that the unborn in the womb are persons…I’m advocating for their lives as well as the woman,” said Lauren Benjamin, a Cal State Long Beach Student.
Proponents argue that instead of leaving school, students less than 10 weeks pregnant, will be able to go to their campus health centers and ask for these abortion pills.
A nurse, nurse practitioner, or midwife will all be trained to provide the medicine.
UC Berkeley student Phoebe Abramowitz of the Students United for Reproductive Rights says this bill is about access.
“This isn’t going to increase the number of students who are going to access medication abortion…it’s going to make their lives easier, more comfortable and safer while they’re doing it, said Abramowitz.
Is it safe?
Doctor and Senator Richard Pan, who sits on this education committee, maintains the drug has little to no adverse effects on the mother. But many students, say they’re worried about the worse case scenario.
“And if they do not have the means to get off campus to obtain these pills, then how will they obtain medical necessities if something does go wrong?” said Tasy.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, lawmakers want to phase in the program, giving schools until 2022 to add necessary equipment and train their medical staff.