Commentary

New California Bill Would Turn College Health Centers Into Abortion Clinics

By Patrina Mosley | April 30, 2019 | 4:29pm EDT
California state flag (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The California state Senate Education Committee recently approved Senate Bill 24, known as the College Student Right to Access Act.

The bill would add a new chapter to state education code to require student health care clinics at all 34 California public colleges and universities to “offer abortion by medication techniques”—aka “the abortion pill”—starting on Jan. 1, 2023.

A similar bill, SB 320, was put forward last year by the same state senator, Connie Leyva, D-Chino. Thankfully, it was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, a fellow Democrat, who saw the mandate as “unnecessary” since “the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus.”

In his veto statement, Brown said that “according to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance.”

The study he was referring to was commissioned by the University of California at San Francisco, which supports the campus abortion mandate. That only shows how college campuses are targeted by the abortion industry.

SB 24 and last year’s SB 320 are similar, but SB 24 includes new grant amounts and deadlines for implementation, as well as language that would allow “contracted external agency” personnel to administer chemical abortions in student health centers.

In other words, the public university system in California could begin contracting with Planned Parenthood to send its abortionists into student health centers to administer chemical abortions.

That means Leyva and the other sponsors of the bill made no effort to address serious flaws with this type of mandate, raised by both sides of the debate. Even the universities themselves are apprehensive. Putting the abortion business on campus does not meet a need, but places considerable liabilities on the colleges.

To bring this bill up a second time without addressing its many serious flaws shows a reckless disregard for the 400,000 young women on those 34 public campuses.

You can imagine what potential risks and liabilities would come with forcing colleges to dispense the abortion pill.

Foremost among the many concerns about SB 24 is its vague funding language.

Like its failed predecessor, SB 24 would allow the $10.2 million in private funds to cover costs associated with the purchase of new equipment, facility upgrades, staff training, and other costs associated with making student health clinics ready to administer chemical abortions.

Also, as with SB 320, SB 24’s funding mechanism is vague and leaves open the possibility of taxpayer-funded abortion after 2023.

It provides no safeguards to prohibit state funds or student fees from paying for the ongoing support of the program. Public funding of abortion is something we know that a majority of Americans strongly oppose, yet SB 24 takes no precautions to prevent that. Not saying “no” is effectively saying “yes.”

Furthermore, the legislation offers no maternal assistance for women who choose not to abort. It supports abortions only. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that more than one-quarter of all undergraduate students are raising dependent children—yet no assistance is offered for them.

Parenthood and education are compatible, and there are plenty of women who can prove that. A bill that purposely goes out of its way to take away women’s children, rather than help them raise their babies and continue their education, is a slap in the face to “women’s empowerment.”

“Abortion by medication techniques,” as the legislation calls it, involves early-stage chemical abortions via the abortion pill, but it can still be quite traumatic. What makes chemical abortions different from surgical abortions is that the mother has to see and dispose of the remains of the aborted child herself.

One can imagine the mental trauma that would occur to a young woman whose abortion takes place in her college dorm room or in a student health center bathroom. Is that really a good thing for a young college woman?

But legislation like SB 24 couldn’t care less about women. It only cares about expanding the business of abortion.

Abortion proponents, however, view such a mandate as model legislation for other states to follow, and California is vying to be the first state to implement it.

The California state Senate Health Committee first passed the bill on a 7-3 vote, and it has now passed out of the Senate Education Committee. The next stop is the Committee on Appropriations, which is set to meet next week.

Brown’s successor, Gov. Gavin Newsom, has already insinuated his support for the bill, and that has only encouraged supporters of SB 24. However, it’s still not known how much support will actually come from the public universities themselves, which remain apprehensive of the considerable liability that they would have to assume.

Patrina Mosley is the director of life, culture, and women’s advocacy at the Family Research Council.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Daily Signal.

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