SACRAMENTO – On Monday, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) reintroduced legislation that will ensure access to medication abortion services on California public university campuses for students who seek to terminate their pregnancy during the first ten weeks.
Also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act”, SB 24 will require that public universities with on-campus student health centers provide medication abortion on campus by January 1, 2023. Many student health centers at public universities in California already offer reproductive health services, including contraception, pregnancy options counseling, and other health related services. The lack of access to comprehensive and accessible reproductive care can hinder the well-being and academic success of college students, disproportionately impacting students of color and low-income students.
“As critical health care protections and services for women are under attack at the federal level and in several states across our country, California continues to lead the way by strengthening access to safe and timely reproductive health care,” Senator Leyva said. “It is critically important that we reaffirm the constitutional right of college students to access abortion care without delay, and that should always include student health centers on public university campuses. Regardless of where they may live, all Californians should have access to the full range and choices of reproductive care services so that they can plan their futures and accomplish their goals. I am confident that the incoming Legislature will also approve SB 24 and that Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom will continue to stand strong in his support for a woman’s right to choose.”
Research shows that medication abortion is safe and effective and has a success rate of over 95 percent and serious adverse events occur in only 0.3 percent of instances. Given in two doses of medication, the first dose is taken in the company of the medical provider and the second dose is sent home with the patient to take 24 – 48 hours later. Most patients can return to normal activities within 1-2 days and a follow-up appointment is made for 1-2 weeks after the initial appointment with the provider to confirm successful pregnancy termination.
In spite of tremendous support by the students at University of California and California State University campuses, health care and reproductive rights organizations, women’s rights advocates and dozens of other organizations across California, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a previous version of this same legislation in late September.
Sponsored jointly by the Women’s Foundation of California, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACLU California, ACT for Women and Girls, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice California and Students United for Reproductive Justice at UC Berkeley, the “College Student Right to Access Act” will be considered in Senate policy committee(s) later this spring.