WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO
SB 24 would require CSU and UC campuses to provide the abortion pill at student health centers, private funding permitting. A similar version was approved by the Legislature last year but former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it, noting that since “services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.” Implementation depends on nearly $10.3 million in private funding, which the TARA Health Foundation and the Women’s Foundation of California say they have secured. Each campus gets $200,000 to start offering the service, and is not required to use general fund money or student fees to maintain it once initial funding runs out.
WHO SUPPORTS IT?
The bill is authored by state Sen. Connie Leyva, a Chino Democrat. It’s supported by the ACLU of California, the California Faculty Association and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. Supporters argue that while off-campus services are available, students without cars experience hardship because of lengthy bus rides or expensive car service fares. They also say that clinics are typically closed on weekends, which forces students to miss class or work to get the pill.
Opponents include the California Catholic Conference and the California Family Council. They argue public campuses are located close enough to abortion clinics and having an abortion via the pill can be a traumatic experience.
The governor signed a proclamation on reproductive freedom earlier this year underscoring women’s right to choose. On Oct. 11, 2019, he signed the bill, saying that “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 choose.”