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Bill Mandating College Campuses To Offer Abortion Pills To Students Rejected

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California Democrat Governor Jerry Brown rejected a bill on Sunday, September 30 that would mandate college campuses to offer abortion pills to students.

“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,” Governor Brown wrote in his veto letter of Senate Bill 320. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”


Senate Bill 320 Was Vetoed

Senate Bill 320, issued in February 2017, requires every student health center in University of California and California State University campuses to offer medication abortions beginning January 1, 2022.

Brown, who vetoed a bill requiring the health centers to provide abortion pills during the first 10 weeks of a pregnancy, said those services are already available to University of California and California State University students.

“The bill would provide that its requirements would be implemented only if, and to the extent that, a total of at least $9,600,000 in private moneys is made available to the fund in a timely manner on or after January 1, 2019,” SB-320 states.

The money would have gone to the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, which would provide public universities the money in grant form to cover costs such as equipment used for medication abortion, staff training and facility and security upgrades.

According to The Daily Caller, pro-life organization Students for Life expressed satisfaction with the bill’s veto.

“Thank you Governor Brown for VETOING #SB320. Abortion drugs do not belong on college campuses,” wrote the tweet.

Thank you Governor Brown for VETOING #SB320. Abortion drugs do not belong on college campuses!https://t.co/fqytnddS6s

— Students for Life (@StudentsforLife) October 1, 2018


The Bill Is Planned To Be Reintroduced

Senate Bill 320 was originally introduced by California Senator Connie Leyva in 2017. According to The Daily Californian, the bill originated at UC Berkeley, influenced by a 2016 ASUC resolution supporting the implementation of medical abortion services at the Tang Center. Students United for Reproductive Justice, or SURJ, co-founder Adiba Khan contributed to the ASUC resolution and worked alongside other SURJ members to help write SB-320, then authored by Sen. Leyva.

SB-320 passed its final vote in the California State Senate on Aug. 30, 2018.

“I’m so incredibly disappointed in the Governor, and I think it’s yet just another example of old white guys thinking they know what women need,” The Daily Californian reported, cited Leyva. “For him to say he doesn’t think (the commute is) inconvenient, he just completely missed the whole point of the bill.”

Leyva said she plans to reintroduce the bill in the next session.

Today's #SB320 veto by @JerryBrownGov is a setback to a woman's right to access abortion. I fully plan to reintroduce this bill next session and will not stop until there is #AbortionCareOnCampus! https://t.co/yC1SGL4GaW

— Connie Leyva (@SenatorLeyva) October 1, 2018

Supporters of this bill came largely from pro-choice organizations such as Women’s Foundation of California and the Tara Health Foundation. The organizations also expressed disappointment with the veto. The two foundations helped fund the implementation of SB-320 into public universities.

“We are disappointed that Gov. Brown failed to support what the Senate, the Assembly, and 6 in 10 Californians already have recognized in this groundbreaking bill — that students of California need abortion care on campus,” CEO for the Women’s Foundation of California Surina Khan wrote in a press release.

We won’t give up. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽https://t.co/FSn2a2fa3O

— Womens Foundation CA (@womensfoundca) October 1, 2018

“We choose to listen to students, not those in power who continually deny their reproductive rights. We deserve a system that works for the student[s] of California.”


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