The University of California-Berkeley student senate demands that free abortion be available on campus so that female students can “continue their education with little disruption.”
The resolution argues that failure of the school to provide female students with free abortion is a violation of women’s rights and is inconsistent with University Health Services’ (UHS) core value which states, “We promote equity and inclusion and believe everyone should receive the highest quality care.”
“There is an unmet need of medication abortion to students and UHS has the necessary resources to provide medication abortion,” the measure continues. “When medication abortion is not available at UHS, students who are seeking an abortion face financial, time, and travel constraint burdens that create negative impacts on academic performance and mental health.”
.@UCBerkeley students: Staff should take pay cuts to fund on-campus abortions
— National Review (@NRO) March 24, 2016
The bill cites numerous statistics, including:
WHEREAS, The Guttmacher Institute found that in 2008, women aged 18-24 account for 44% of all abortions in the United States, and women aged 25-29 account for 24%. Many of these women choose abortion in order to continue their education with little disruption…
WHEREAS, Considering 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by age 30, thousands of students seeking an abortion would be turned away from UHS…
Aanchal Chugh, a student senator and primary sponsor of the resolution, said she would like to see school administrators take a pay cut as a means to pay for the free medication abortions for female students.
“I believe the University should reorganize funds from the administration’s paychecks to university health services,” Chugh told Campus Reform. “Many of the administrators at UC Berkeley receive more than generous paychecks while they continue to put student health on the backburner.”
“This resolution is demanding that the university reconsider and reprioritize its funding,” she asserted. “Instead of investing money into the administration’s paychecks, the university should be investing in students’ health and safety needs.”
Roqua Montez, executive director for communications and media relations in the school’s Office of Public Affairs, tells Breitbart News, however, “At its core, the question is larger than the one regarding cost.”
UC Berkeley’s University Health Services fully supports women’s access to the full spectrum of contraception, emergency contraception, abortion and other pregnancy alternatives. Fortunately, the Berkeley campus is surrounded by a high-quality, well-established network of health providers who are expert in this area.
No University of California student health center provides this service in-house, and only a handful of colleges in the United States provide this service on campus. This includes campuses with poor access to those services, unlike the broad access available to Berkeley students.
Chugh, however, says female students should be able to have abortions on campus and not be required to pay for them from their own funds.
“The resolution does not expect students to pay for these services as I, and those who voted for it, believe that health is a right not a privilege,” she said. “The university should be providing this right to all students.”
The pro-life Students for Life club at UC Berkeley said in response to the student resolution:
The student government at Berkeley exemplifies the lack of support and empowerment of women that is rampant throughout the abortion rights movement. Abortion is degrading to women, and the bill expresses a mentality that a woman’s ability to bear children is a crisis rather than an empowering act and a great contribution to society. That is not only dangerous and hurtful, but it stigmatizes pregnant and parenting students on campus.
This is exactly the kind of callous attitude that forces students to choose between their child and their education, which no student should have to do. The Students for Life club at Berkeley is dedicated to not only educating their peers on the atrocity of abortion but also offering tangible resources for pregnant and parenting students. We are willing and ready to support these students facing unplanned pregnancies so that they aren’t forced to choose between their child and their education.