Public universities in the State of California will be required to offer abortion-inducing drugs to all female students starting January 1, 2023, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month. This move ignores credible evidence demonstrating the risk of life-threatening complications from chemical abortions, especially considering the fact that young women often experience these abortions alone.
SB 24 passed California’s Assembly and Senate in mid-September, with votes of 55-19 and 29-11 respectively, and Governor Newsome signed it into law on October 11. The bill declares that “abortion care is a constitutional right and an integral part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.” Shockingly, it goes on to say that “it is central to the mission of California’s public university student health centers to minimize the negative impact of health concerns on students’ studies and to facilitate retention and graduation. […] When pregnant young people decide that abortion is the best option for them, having early, accessible care can help them stay on track to achieve their educational and other aspirational life plans.”
Therefore, the bill argues, the more than 400,000 female students on California’s public university campuses should have access to “extremely safe, highly effective, and cost effective” abortion by medication. Although SB 24 stipulates the measure will only be implemented if at least $10.3 million in “private moneys” is given to the newly established College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund by January 1, 2020. Regrettably, that amount has already been surpassed.
The disastrous ramifications of this law for the State of California cannot be overstated. Not only will innocent, unborn lives be taken with more ease and likely at higher rates, but young adults will run the risk of life-threatening complications from chemically induced abortions, often without a medical professional close by to help. With this type of abortion, pregnant women are given two drugs: one to starve the baby of progesterone, and one to start contractions to expel the now-dead baby. As stated earlier, many women experience chemical abortions alone at home. For university students, that could mean having an abortion in their dorm bathrooms or campus apartments with no medical care on hand. Planned Parenthood’s own website describes this process as being “very similar to a miscarriage.”
Another dangerous risk of SB 24 is that it allows for dissemination of abortion pills to be provided by “staff at the student health center [or] through telehealth services.” A pregnant student might not even see a health care professional face-to-face before being given the drugs for an abortion! Finally, there is no provision protecting the rights of students or employees at public university health centers who refuse to comply with this law because it violates their consciences.
This action is an excellent example of Planned Parenthood and abortion activists “taking the fight to the states.” When signing SB 24 into law, Governor Newsom proudly proclaimed, “As other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom, in California we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming a woman’s right to choose.” Thankfully, many pro-life organizations have come out in vocal opposition to this law, and have pledged to fight against it, including the Students for Life America, which announced it would offer legal assistance to any students or health care workers whose “conscience rights” were threatened by this new law.