CSU and UC students will soon have access to abortion pills

A California law requires all schools in the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems to offer abortion pills beginning January 1, 2023.

Senate Bill 320, also known as the College Student Right to Access Act, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. The bill requires all student health centers in the CSU and UC systems to s supply prescribed drugs for medical abortion and have trained health professionals ready to administer them.

“SB 24 reaffirms the right of every student to access abortion”, Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), who introduced the bill, said in a statement at the time. “By ensuring abortion care is available on campus, students won’t have to choose between delaying important medical care or having to travel long distances or miss class or work.”

Medical abortion, also called the abortion pill, usually requires patients to take two different pills. The first blocks a hormone necessary for pregnancy, and the second causes muscle contractions and bleeding to empty the uterus. The drug can be used up to the 10th week of pregnancy.

“Research shows that medical abortion is safe and effective and has a success rate of over 95% and serious adverse events occur in only 0.3% of cases,” according to a press release from Leyva’s office. .

The law makes California the first state in the nation to provide access to abortion pills on public college campuses.

“While other states and the federal government are stepping back, restricting reproductive freedom, in California, we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming women’s rights [to] choose,” Newsom said in a 2019 statement.

The law has been supported by numerous student organizations and women’s rights groups, including the Cal State Student Association, the University of California Student Association, the ACLU of California, ACT for Women and Girls, etc

The bill followed a resolution passed by the UC Berkeley student government in 2016 urging its health center to include medical abortion in its services. The student government argued that students without reliable transportation could face financial and academic barriers when traveling to nearby health clinics for abortion services.

Previously, a similar bill was vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018. He said the bill was ‘not necessary’ because students could access medical abortion at clinics. off-campus at an average distance of “five to seven miles,” according to Brown’s veto statement.

During a 2018 Senate Education Committee hearing, Anna Arend, Northern California regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, expressed safety concerns about the presence of abortion pills on campus, on behalf of students who opposed the bill.

She said the FDA’s list of medical abortion side effects includes “bleeding, vomiting, headache, fever, chills, nausea, and dizziness,” and sometimes emergency surgery is needed to stop the bleeding. . The procedure itself can also have lingering physical and mental effects, she said.

“The trauma is incomparable. It’s not healthy for students,” she said.

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