California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring State Universities to Make Abortion Pills Available at Campus Clinics

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Democratic governor of California has vetoed a bill that would have required state universities to make abortion pills available to students via campus clinics.

While Gov. Jerry Brown reiterated his belief that abortion is a “right,” he remarked in a brief statement on Sunday that he believes student access to the pills is ample via area abortion facilities, and it is therefore not necessary to likewise make them available at state universities.

“I am returning Senate Bill 320 without my signature,” he wrote. “This bill requires every student health center at University of California and California State University campuses to offer medication abortions beginning January 1, 2022.”

“According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” Brown stated. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, students at the University of California Berkeley had urged legislators to propose the bill after unsuccessfully attempting to convince campus officials to make the pills available on campus.

“More than 400,000 students classified as female are educated at California’s public university campuses, and it is central to the mission of California’s public university student health centers to minimize the negative impact of health concerns on students’ studies and to facilitate retention and graduation,” S.B. 320, presented by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, read.

“When pregnant young people decide that abortion is the best option for them, having early, accessible care can help them stay on track to achieve their educational and other aspirational life plans,” it claimed. “Abortion by medication techniques is an essential part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, and should be accessible at on-campus student health centers.”

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Read the bill in full here.

The bill cleared the California Assembly on Aug. 29 52-25, and passed the Senate the following day 26-13. It was then sent to Gov. Brown for consideration on Sept. 10.

Groups such as the California Family Council expressed opposition to the legislation, remarking that it “would not only cause harm to vulnerable children and young women, but force taxpayers and student to support these abortions with higher student fees and tuition rates.”

“If pro-abortion forces are successful in California, they will try to pass these laws all across the country. We must stop them in California and prevent this from spreading to other states,” also stated Live Action in an email to supporters.

One student at the University of California San Diego, while not opposing abortion, penned an op-ed for the San Diego Tribune, contending that making abortion pills available on campus will be “traumatic” for students.

“If a student is given RU-486 and returns to her dorm room to complete the abortion, her pain, vomiting, diarrhea and other side effects will not go unnoticed by the 23 other students she lives with,” wrote Rachael Pryce. “On top of that, if the abortion is performed in the later stages of fetal development, it is not unlikely that she will have the traumatic experience of having to dispose of the fetus in the shared bathroom of her dorm room.”

As previously reported, in an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge likewise explained that if a woman were to come to a medical doctor in pursuit of an abortion, “he must, as it were, grasp the conscience of his weak and erring patient and let her know in language not to be misunderstood that she is responsible to her Creator for the life of the being within her.”

“The procuring abortion is ‘a base and unmanly act,’” Hodge also said, quoting in part text from a court ruling of his day. “It is a crime against the natural feelings of man, against the welfare and safety of females, against the peace and prosperity of society, against the divine command ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ It is murder.”

Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”

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