California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) just signed into law a bill requiring all public colleges and universities in the state to provide free abortion medications to students.
On Friday, the progressive governor signed SB 24 — the College Student Right to Access Act — into law, mandating all health centers in the UC and CSU systems cover the cost of medical abortions for any students who request them by January 2023, KCRA-TV reported.
Newsom said in a statement following his signing of the bill proves California is “moving forward” as other states “go backward, restricting reproductive freedom.”
“We’re removing barriers to reproductive health — increasing access on college campuses and using technology to modernize how patients interact with providers,” his statement continued.
The controversial legislation passed the state legislature in September. As a result, publicly funded colleges will now be required to keep their medical centers stocked with RU-486, an abortifacient that, according to data complied by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has contributed to the deaths of 24 women over the last two decades.
Additionally, the drug cocktail doesn’t always work. Ten percent of the time, in fact, it fails.
“When the abortion drug cocktail fails as it does about 10 percent of the time, surgical abortion is the next step,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Are Californians interested in outfitting campus health centers into surgical abortion facilities with compensated personnel and extensive emergency equipment?”
Newsom signed the bill into law after his predecessor, former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed the legislation in 2018, arguing the statewide mandate was not necessary, given students already have access to nearby abortion clinics.
“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 explained at the time. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”