By eight votes, the California State Assembly Committee on Health voted Tuesday to advance Senate Bill 320, the College Right to Access Act. Authored by Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) the legislation would improve safe and reliable access to comprehensive reproductive health services for university and college students in California.
The bill, which was passed earlier this year by the Senate, would ensure access to medication abortion services on California public university campuses for students who may become pregnant and seek to terminate their pregnancy during the first ten weeks.
This bill only applies to public universities with on-campus student health centers and would be enacted on a delayed implementation schedule to offer schools additional time to prepare to offer this service on campus.
Many on-campus student health centers at public universities in California already offer reproductive health services, including contraception, pregnancy options counseling and other services for both women and men.
“With today’s vote, California is one step closer to passing historic legislation that would promote the health and well-being of university students,” said Surina Khan, CEO, The Women’s Foundation of California. “It is a critical step in ensuring California students are not forced to delay care, go off campus to a provider they don’t know, or miss class or work in order to receive abortion care. I am proud that our legislators are committed to supporting the academic and personal success of our students by ensuring they have access to a full range of reproductive health care services they need on campus.”
A poll conducted last January showed that 60% of Californians support making the abortion pill available on campus.
The next stop in the process to final passage will be the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, which will hold a hearing on the bill on June 26.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California told the Los Angeles Blade Tuesday that medication for early pregnancy termination is safe and effective.
“The Medication is given in two doses. The first dose is taken in the company of the medical provider and the second dose is sent home with the patient to take 24 hours later,” the Planned Parenthood spokesperson said. “Most patients can return to normal activities within 1-2 days. A follow-up appointment is made for 1-2 weeks after the initial appointment with the provider to confirm successful pregnancy termination. Research shows that medical abortion has a success rate of over 95% and serious adverse events exist in only 0.3% of instances.
Reporting by the staff of the Los Angeles Blade & wire service reports