SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The University of California and California State University schools will not be required to offer medication abortions on campus.
Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 320 just before the deadline. He wrote:
“This bill requires every student health center at University of California and California State University campuses to offer medication abortions beginning January 1, 2022. Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California. According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance. Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”
If approved, it would have required all university campuses to offer medicated abortions by 2022. A group of private donors had said they would put up $20 million to provide equipment for the college health clinics.
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 estimated that 10 to 17 women would seek a medication abortion per month on each UC campus, and nine to 15 at each CSU school.