State moving closer to offering abortion medication on college campuses
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 2/2/2018, 11:36 a.m.
The California Senate has passed SB 320, which enables women on college campuses to obtain an abortion pill. According to the Huffington Post, the movement to provide the pill began when a UC Berkley student found out she was pregnant, even though she told officials she and her partner had practiced safe sex. During the process to try to end the pregnancy, she found out her student insurance didn’t cover it, and by the time she had spent hundreds of dollars and had to go off campus to see a doctor, she had lost her internship and missed some of her classes. And to make it more life-changing, by the time she got a referral for the procedure, she was too far along to have the procedure. California offers one of the best abortion options in the country, but none of the state’s public universities provide students like the one mentioned above with on-campus abortion services of any kind. That could soon change. This week, the California senate passed a bill requiring the 34 University of California and California State University campuses to provide medication abortion — often called the abortion pill — in their health care centers, ensuring it is available to students by no later than January 2022. If the bill moves through the state assembly and is signed into law by the governor, California would become the first state in the nation to pass such legislation at a time when many states are chipping away access to the abortion pill. The bill has not been without controversy, and anti-abortion groups have opposed it on the grounds that student health centers are not equipped to handle the procedure. Supporters of the bill argue that is not true, as a group of private funders including Tara Health Foundation and the Women’s Foundation of California have agreed to pay for implementation of the policy, including training and equipment — which also means the state will not pay for the roll-out. They have agreed to supply at least $14 million, and possibly up to $20 million, Surina Khan, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California, which helped craft the bill, told HuffPost.