California to require abortion medication at public colleges | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

California to require abortion medication at public colleges

Associated Press
1797759_web1_1797759-82e08436faba458095cf3f846d1108d0
FILE - In this May 21, 2019 file photo, people rally in support of abortion rights at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a measure, on Friday, Oct. 11,2019, that will require public colleges and universities to offer abortion medication at campus health centers. The bill, SB24, was authored by Sen.Connie Leyva, D-Chino. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will be the first state to require abortion medication on college campuses under a law signed Friday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The law takes effect in 2023 and only applies to the 34 campuses in the University of California and California State University systems. But the law will only be implemented if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, arguing it was not necessary because abortion services were readily available off campus.

But Newsom, who took office in January, said the law is needed “as other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom.”

Several Republican-led states, including Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi, have passed laws banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Abortion-rights groups are challenging those laws in court.

“Abortion is a protected right, and it is important that everyone — including college students — have access to that right, if they so choose,” said Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva, the bill’s author.

Religious and anti-abortion groups opposed the bill, with Live Action President Lila Rose saying the law “turns universities into abortion centers.” And Maria Jose Fernandez, legislative advocate for the California Catholic Conference, said the law is “trying to limit the alternatives for women.”

“We’re giving them the option to terminate a life, but what about those who want to continue on with that pregnancy? Where is the help for those women?” Fernandez said.

The medication is an option for women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. The process requires taking two pills. The first pill, taken at the clinics, blocks the hormone progesterone. The second, taken a few days later at home, has an effect similar to a miscarriage.

More than 400,000 women attend public universities in the state.

Officials at the University of California and California State University did not take a position on the bill as it worked its way through the state Legislature. California State University spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp said the university will comply with the law by 2023.

University of California spokeswoman Sarah McBride said the university “believes students should have access to affordable and convenient reproductive health care of their choosing.”

“The university is currently evaluating next steps and will implement the law accordingly,” she said.

Also Friday, Newsom signed a law clarifying that Planned Parenthood can prescribe birth control via teleconference without a video chat, as they can in other states.

Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said the bill signings show “that California understands reproductive health care is health care. And health care is a human right.”

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.