SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A requirement that all California State University and University of California campuses offer medication abortions is getting closer to passing the Legislature.
Senate Bill 320 passed the Senate at the end of January and will be heard by the Assembly Higher Education Committee Tuesday.
If it eventually passes the Assembly and signed into law by the governor, it would require all university campuses to offer the service by 2022. A group of private donors have said they would put up $20 million to provide equipment for the college health clinics.
Analyses of SB 320 does specify:
“Implementation of this bill is contingent upon a total of at least nine million six hundred thousand dollars ($9.6 million) in private funds being made available to the Fund in a timely manner on or after January 1, 2019, and that nothing in this bill is to be interpreted as requiring a public university to utilize General Fund moneys or student fees for medication abortion readiness before January 1, 2022.”
A medication abortion is a two-step process that can happen up to ten weeks into a pregnancy. A woman does the first step in the clinic and is given a second drug to take at home. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use in 2000. In 2014 medication abortions accounted for 31% of all non-hospital abortions and 45% of abortions within the first nine weeks of gestation.
None of the University of California or California State University campuses currently offer abortion services. Students are instead referred to outside providers.
Senator Connie Levya (D-Chino) authored SB 320 and has said: “women do not lose the constitutional right to end a pregnancy simply because they are a college student.”
The Guttmacher Institute says more than half of all U.S. abortions in 2014 were performed on women in their 20s (34% age 20-24, 27% age 25-29).
The bill’s sponsors estimate that 10 to 17 women would seek a medication abortion per month on each UC campus, and nine to 15 at each CSU school.