SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two months after Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill requiring all University of California and California State University schools to offer medicated abortions on campus, the lawmaker who authored the original bill is trying again to get it approved.
On Monday, Senator Connie Levya (D-20th District) introduced Senate Bill 24.
If approved, it would require all university student health centers to offer medicated abortions by January 1, 2023. The bill would also create the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, which would be administered by the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
The bill would only go into effect if the newly created fund raises nearly $10.3 million dollars from private donors by January 1, 2020.
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.
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.
In October, Governor Brown vetoed Senator Levya’s SB 320, writing;
“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.”