State Watch

California Senate passes bill requiring public universities to offer abortion pill on campus


The California state Senate Monday passed a bill that would require all public universities to provide abortion medication at on-campus health centers.

If the legislation passes the House and is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), all student health centers on University of California and California State University campuses would be required to offer students nonsurgical abortion options, commonly referred to as medication abortions.

Bill sponsor and state Sen. Connie Leyva in a statement announcing the bill’s passage said the law is needed as “women’s rights, particularly access to abortion, are under attack” across the country.

{mosads}Leyva in her statement did not specifically name any states, but the bill’s passage in the Senate comes just days after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the nation’s strictest abortion ban into law.

“While other states are taking a giant step back to the days of outright misogyny and forced pregnancy, California continues to lead the nation by reaffirming the constitutional right to access abortion care without delay, including at student health centers on public university campuses,” Leyva said.

The legislation, named the “College Student Right to Access Act,” if passed, would be the first of its kind in the country. The bill passed the state Senate along party lines.

On-campus student health centers would be required to offer medical abortion pills by Jan. 1, 2023. The statement noted that several public universities in the state already offer the option, along with contraception and pregnancy counseling.

The Sacramento Bee reports the legislation would cost an estimated $7.8 million to fund each year from 2019-20 through 2022-23, and then $3.3 million each year following.

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