California moves to require abortion pills on campus

First in country


Connie Leyva: “It’s about access to a woman’s constitutional right.”

The following comes from an Apr. 19 story in the Mercury News.

There’s a new battleground for the debate over abortion: California’s public universities.

The Golden State could become the first in the country to require its public universities to offer abortion pills on campus under a legislative proposal that passed through the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday.

“This bill fundamentally is about access,” said Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, the bill’s author. “It’s about access to a woman’s constitutional right.”

Reflecting the political chasm between California and Washington, the proposal marks a stark contrast to the ongoing debate in Congress over women’s health — whether to cut federal funding from Planned Parenthood’s massive network of reproductive health clinics, which provide abortion services. While the California bill sailed through the health committee, it is already facing strong opposition from anti-abortion groups such as the California Family Council, which are emphasizing safety concerns and costs.

“To my knowledge, no other state has gone so far as to try to require chemical abortion coverage on campus,” said Jonathan Keller, CEO of the Fresno-based California Family Council. “Unfortunately, I think this is really an overreach by Sen. Leyva.”

Amendments to Senate Bill 320 on Wednesday dropped the mandate from community colleges and gave universities a more cost-effective option of allowing outside providers to come to campus for the service, rather than providing the two-dose abortion medication at their student health centers. The on-campus requirement would take effect in January 2020.

Student activists at UC Berkeley raised the issue last year when they tried to convince the student health center to provide the pills and ran into roadblocks.

“I’m upset that abortion is so highly politicized,” said Adiba Khan, a junior and one of the leaders of the campaign, in a recent interview. “It’s not evil. It’s a good thing, and it should be easily accessible to anyone.”

At the hearing, Khan read a statement from a classmate who described the ordeal she underwent while trying to get an abortion last year. She also noted that UC Berkeley’s student health center already performs IUD birth-control procedures, which, she argues are more complex.

Dr. Karen Meckstroth, a clinical professor at UC San Francisco who testified in support of the bill, said Tylenol and Viagra were riskier than this medication. Leyva said it had “serious adverse affects” in 0.05 percent of cases.

“The evidence is clear that medical abortion is 98 percent effective for early abortion and extremely safe,” Meckstroth said.

But questions remain about the cost of implementation, how much of the increase would be passed on to students, and the extent to which campuses are equipped to take it on. UC Berkeley officials have told students they would need to upgrade facilities and ramp up security, Khan said.

“I am totally in support of the discussion, the concept,” said Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, who heads the Senate Health Committee, “but there’s a lot more work to be done.”

In an interview after the hearing, Leyva said she did not want to rush the bill through before pinning down those details — such as whether a doctor or a nurse-practitioner would administer the medication. “We want to make sure we do it the right way,” she said of the proposal, which still hasn’t undergone a cost analysis.

SB 320 is co-sponsored by ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACT for Women and Girls and the Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California also support the proposal. Opponents include the Catholic Conference of California, the California Family Council and other anti-abortion groups.

The bill heads next to the Senate Education Committee.

UC and CSU have yet to take a formal position, but both took a “position of concern” on Wednesday.




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  1. The Watchman says:

    California seems to be the first in the country in everything that is wrong with America. Contrary to what that student said abortion is not only evil but it is diabolical. When you consider that close to 60 million unborn baby children have been killed since abortion was made legal with Roe versus Wade in America in 1973 this is truly a holocaust of gigantic proportions. Wake up California! Wake up America for the day of the Lord is close at hand. Repent and convert before it is too late. Seek God’s infinite mercy while it is still available or face God’s justice and judgement. Pray America Pray.

  2. Linda Maria says:

    Many years ago, college dorms all had curfews, and bed checks, plus dress codes, and requirements to sign in and sign out of the dorms. Studying was of great importance, and making good grades! Many colleges were highly competitive, and students had to work very hard! Too much partying and bad behavior, and you would risk being kicked out! The campus rules for all public and private, Church-related colleges, reflected our Nation’s Judeo-Christian moral code. If you committed the sin of pre-marital sex, or if a girl ended up getting pregnant– that was grounds for expulsion! Much better campus life, overall, for serious students! And the rest should’t be there!

  3. Linda Maria says:

    I believe all of our schools should be run by the traditional Judeo-Christian moral code, and that a big part of a student’s studies, should include formation in good moral character! This is highly important, for lifelong success, and for the success of our local communities, as well as for our entire country, and all its citizens! Good character formation for all students, including college students, is a big responsibility, for those in charge!! An immoral, irresponsible, lawless country, with a broken-down moral code, and broken-down schools, churches, and other institutions– and broken-down families!!– is a terrible hazard for all– especially for future children!!

  4. Abortion at any stage is killing, period.

    Mother Teresa said that the fruit of abortion is nuclear war. Let’s pray that this now saint is interceeding for us at this perilous time.

  5. Joel Fago says:

    California promotes on campus the killing of unborn babies.

  6. Mary Anne says:

    No surprise here when we have Gov. MoonBeam leading the state. I would like to ask the Governor what does he think an unborn child is? It has a soul and the right to life. And here he is leading the charge
    for making it easier than ever for an expectant mother to kill her unborn child. I am guessing that Jerry Brown missed the class in the Jesuit seminary when they discussed life and when it begins. Could we ask Jerry Brown what does he think he will be responsible for when he meets his maker and tries to talk his way into Heaven. Our good Lord is not easily fooled… so many in California are.

  7. Don Guillermo says:

    After 30 minutes online attempting to discover Connie Leyva’s religious affiliation, I have given up. There is no mention of it that I could find. Isn’t that interesting? Is Connie Leyva a Catholic and, if so, has her bishop counseled her? We may never know, but it is certainly … interesting. I even called her campaign headquarters (909-321-2425) to ask, but no one answered and I didn’t leave a voice message.

  8. Some women have no self respect. They just keep letting men use and abuse them, then pretend it is “liberation”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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