California becomes first state in US requiring public universities to offer abortion pill on campus

California becomes first state in US requiring public universities to offer abortion pill on campus
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Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomPG&E fails to get governor's approval on restructuring proposal Sanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE (D) signed a bill into law on Friday that makes California the first state in the U.S. to require public universities to offer medication abortion at on-campus student health centers.

The state assembly voted in September to pass Senate Bill 24 in a 55-19 vote, several months after the state Senate first voted to approve the measure in May.

The new law requires that “each student health care services clinic on a California State University or University of California campus to offer abortion by medication techniques.” The 34 University of California and California State University schools have until January 2023 to comply.

In a medical abortion, which is nonsurgical and noninvasive, women within the first 10 weeks of their pregnancy can take two prescription pills to induce a miscarriage. It is different than the morning-after pill, which prevents pregnancy from occurring altogether. 

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A study from the Journal of Adolescent Health priced the medical abortion drug at more than $600, which proponents of the legislation argued was a barrier for students in need.

Another bill that sought to require public universities in California to offer abortions was rejected by then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in 2018. 

The state already met requirements that said the bill would be implemented “only if” a total of at least $10,290,000 in private money is made available to the fund the services by January 2020. 

The law comes at a time when conservative states have implemented strict abortion bans, setting up for legal fights.