The California State Senate will vote on a bill that would mandate all University of California and California State University campus health centers to stock drugs for medication abortion.
The bill, SB 320 – introduced by state Sen. Connie Leyva (D) in February 2017 – is based on the notion that abortion is the equivalent of medical care and “is a constitutional right and an integral part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.”
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court created a right to abortion – although none existed in the Constitution – in the case of Roe v. Wade.
The California measure currently states the bill “would require, on and after January 1, 2022, each public university student health center, as defined, to offer abortion by medication … techniques only to the extent that private moneys are made available for funding, as specified.”
Adiba Khan, co-founder of Students United for Reproductive Justice, initiated the campaign for the bill.
“I was able to meet a few peers who attempted to get an abortion through the student health center, and they faced a lot of hurdles, mostly bureaucratic, before they were able to get an abortion,” Khan said, according to KQED News.
“When they were denied, they brought the issue to us, and I thought that this was something that young women should have access to, because it is their constitutional right,” Leyva said.
However, Anna Arend, the Northern California regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, testified during the Senate education committee hearing about “the horrible realities of RU-486 … and the dangers that it would bring to their campus.”
“[A]bortion pills are not a factor in student success,” Arend said.
As former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains in a medical animation video released by pro-life organization Live Action, medication abortion takes place during the first trimester of pregnancy. During medication abortion, a woman takes two drugs – Mifepristone (RU-486) and Misoprostol (or Cytotec) – to end the life of the unborn baby.
In March 2016, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorized expanded use of Mifepristone and approved a new label for the drug – manufactured as Mifeprex — that relaxed the guidelines for its use, allowing it to be used at a lower dosage for ending pregnancies up to 70 days of gestation, rather than the former 49 days.
Mifepristone blocks the action of progesterone, which the mother’s body produces to nourish the pregnancy. When progesterone is blocked, the lining of the mother’s uterus deteriorates, and blood and nourishment are cut off to the developing baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb.
The drug Misoprostol (also called Cytotec) then causes contractions and bleeding to expel the baby from the mother’s uterus.
“The abortion pill usually works, but if it doesn’t, you can take more medicine or have an in-clinic abortion to complete the abortion,” says Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.
A private consortium has agreed to fund the cost of student medication abortions at about $14 million, says the news report.
Dr. Ruth Shaber, president of Tara Health Foundation – a contributor to the private fund – says that amount “includes the training, any type of new equipment that’s necessary, and training in the processes, billing for the procedure, and making sure that the clinics are really prepared to implement the procedure and to offer the care well.”
The Women’s Foundation of California and a private donor are also contributors to the fund.
California is the first state to consider such a law. The state requires all health insurers to cover abortion procedures without any waiting periods.
The measure has been approved by the state Senate committees on health, education, and appropriations, and will move to the Senate floor for a vote by the end of January.