California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed controversial legislation that would have made California the first state to require its public universities to offer abortion medication at campus clinics.
The Sunday veto split Brown with members of his own party, who had been pushing for the bill.
The legislation’s backers said the bill was meant to broaden students’ access to abortion services. It would have required every student health center at the 34 University of California and California State University campuses to make abortion pills available for students beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
It would have required $9.6 million in private funds to implement.
In a veto message, Brown said abortion is a “long-protected right” in California, but the bill was “not necessary.”
Brown said students already have access to off-campus abortion providers, citing a study that found the average distance to those providers was no more than 5-7 miles from each campus.
In a statement, the bill’s primary sponsor said she was disappointed in the veto, and will reintroduce the legislation under the next governor.
“As the Trump Administration continues to unravel many of the critical health care protections and services for women, legislation such as this is urgently needed to make sure that Californians are able to access the full range of reproductive care regardless of where they may live,” said Sen. Connie Leyva (D).