By Anna Arend, Northern California Regional Coordinator
On Monday, January 29th, the California Senate passed SB320, which will mandate all California state funded universities administer RU-486, a medical abortion procedure, on their campuses. The bill passed 23 to 13 and now moves on to the state assembly for the next vote. If passed, this bill will turn California universities into abortion facilities.
Students for Life of America has been on the front lines opposing this bill. Students from universities across California gathered in Sacramento to testify against this bill during the Senate Education Committee’s hearing in January. Ten University of California and California State campuses were represented at the gathering including notable universities such as UC-Berkeley, CSU-Fullerton, and CSU-Long Beach. The students also visited over twenty senators’ offices, explaining their serious concerns and urging them to vote “no” on SB320 during the next hearing.
Students explained that SB320 is extremely problematic. Not only does this bill put a tremendous burden on their universities to operate a clinic in addition to operating as an educational institution, it also puts them at great risk of liability. RU-486 is a serious medical abortion procedure that cannot be administered after 10 weeks of pregnancy. This requires medical equipment to assess a woman’s health and how far along she is in her pregnancy prior to being administered these pills. However, campus health centers are not equipped and would require major upgrades to their facilities, demanding a large budget. The bill states that the California treasury would form an “Medical Abortion Implementation Fund” where private donors would subsidize these upgrades. No language in the bill restricts the use of taxpayer dollars or student fees to fund campus abortions.
Students went on to explain that SB320 ignores the common and dangerous side effects of RU-486 which include: extreme cramping, heavy bleeding lasting up to two weeks, blood clots in uterus, passing clots larger than a lemon for more than 2 hours, and pregnancy tissue left in uterus which can lead to infection. Women will be experiencing these common side effects alone, in their shared dorm bathrooms, in unsanitary conditions. While campuses don’t have 24-hour emergency care services to treat women who experience these side effects, students who self-administer the second pill in the RU-486 procedure are being put at even greater risk. While supporters of the bill claimed that access to abortion providers for college students is limited, Students for Life shared a recent study showing that all UCs and CSUs are within an average of 5.97 miles of a medical abortion provider. Many of the students explained that abortion providers are extremely accessible from their campus, as the abortion industry already targets them and strategically places their facilities. If we consider off-campus abortion providers inaccessible, doesn’t that also make off-campus emergency care also inaccessible, further endangering women who take abortion drugs?
After expressing these concerns to their senators, students returned home from their gathering at the State Capital ready to continue the fight. They are now mobilizing on their own campuses across the state. Students for Life groups are hosting displays and demonstrations, petitioning, and speaking at community events in opposition of SB320. They will continue to demand elected officials keep abortion drugs off their campuses.
To learn more, visit nocampusabortions.com.