The California Senate passed Senate Bill 320 (SB 320) on Jan. 29 that would require all California State Universities and Universities of California to provide access to abortion by medication to its students in its student health centers after Jan. 1, 2022, if SB 320 is signed into law.
Sen. Connie Leyva introduced the bill to the legislature February 2017 after the Students United for Reproductive Justice group at UC Berkeley brought it to her attention in 2016.
After the group’s attempt to make abortion by medication available in the student health center, the campus health center administration and university leaders denied the group’s wishes.
The bill will be limited to provide pill intake and ultrasounds to determine the weeks of pregnancy.
The abortion by medication process is completed with the combination of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone, given by a health care provider, blocks the body’s progesterone hormones that are needed to grow a fetus.
Misoprostol, usually taken at home, causes cramps and bleeding, which empties the uterus.
These pills are taken in two doses and six to 48 hours apart, according to Planned Parenthood.
The pills are con sidered a safe and practical choice for women, but the lead physician at Cal Poly Pomona, Thomas Moody, expressed his concerns about how unprepared the health center would be if complications rise from the pills during the after-hours of the health center.
“We would be initiating a treatment in all likelihood would not be able to follow through. The health care is not open, and we are not on call,” said Moody.
“They would have to go to the emergency room and might not get the care they want in the emergency and might cost them 10 times than they have planned to begin with.”
“The chances there are complications from the medication we have initiated; we usually aren’t prepared to take that.”
The bill would give universities a few years to gradually adjust to offering abortion by medication at their health facilities on campus.
A surgical abortion is recommended when a woman is over 10 weeks because women over 10 weeks will not be provided the access to the abortion pill.
Jajuan Brown, a first-year transfer and communication student believes the access to the medical abortion will bring an unwanted reputation to universities and encourage unprotected sex.
“It gives college students an excuse to have more unprotected sex,” said Brown.
“The best solution would be to give out brochures or have seminars about local clinics where abortions take place rather than bringing them to campus.”
Stephanie Medina, third-year child development student at Cal State Los Angeles believes the abortion pill would be convenient for students who lack transportation and students who are not prepared to be parents.
“I believe it will be easier for people who live on campus especially if they do not have a car.
Also, if a student gets pregnant and does not want a child at the moment, she has an option to do it at school,” said Medina.
“I think it would be a good resource to have on campus.”
The donors financial contributions fund the abortion services that will pay for every university’s expenses such as required equipment and staff training.
The State Assembly continues to revise the bill.
Currently, the bill is in its third interaction in assembly.
If passed, it will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown who will sign the SB 320 into law.
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