California Senate Passes Bill to Compel Public Universities to Provide Free Abortion Pills to Students

The California Senate passed a bill on Monday evening that will force the state’s 34 public universities to provide students with free abortion pills.

Senate Bill 24, the College Student Right to Access Act, would grant $200,000 to each student health center to pay for abortion pills, training, and necessary equipment — plus an additional $200,000 to set up a 24-hour hotline.

“The bill would require, on and after January 1, 2023, each student health care services clinic on a California State University or University of California campus to offer abortion by medication techniques, as specified. The bill would require the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to administer the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, which the bill would establish. The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in that fund to the commission for grants to these student health care clinics for specified activities in preparation for providing abortion by medication techniques, thereby making an appropriation. The bill would provide that its requirements would be implemented only if, and to the extent that, a total of at least $10,290,000 in private moneys is made available to the fund in a timely manner on or after January 1, 2020,” the bill reads.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Connie Leyva, will now go up for a vote in the State Assembly. If it passes there, it will go to Governor Gavin Newsom to make the final decision.

“Former Governor Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, vetoed a similar piece of legislation in September 2018, claiming that a trip off-campus to access an abortion wasn’t enough of an inconvenience to justify the bill,” CBS News reports.

 

At the time, Newsom was Lieutenant Governor and said that he would not have signed the bill.

“We’re going to expand access because that’s what we do in California: we lead,” Leyva told CBS News.

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