California is the first state to require access to abortion medication at public universities


Photo credit: Monik Marcus/ creative commons

While several states have been attempting to make abortion laws more strict; California has taken a different route and has become the first state to require public universities to provide access to the abortion pill.

Chico State would also begin carrying the pill at the Student Health Center, according to this law.

California passed legislation requiring, by 2023, that all University of California and California State University campuses must have abortion medication available to students. The bill states that abortion is a constitutional right and an important part of women’s sexual and reproductive health.

The bill was previously vetoed when Jerry Brown was in office, deeming it unnecessary as he said many campuses were close to such healthcare elsewhere.

Photo credit: Monik Marcus/ creative commons

Bill SB-24 was authored by Sen. Connie Leyva in an attempt to remove the barriers that restrict women from their right to choose.

“Just because you have a constitutional right, if you don’t have access to that constitutional right then it’s really no right at all. I’m tired of women being shamed,” Senator Leyva tweeted in regards to SB-24.

The bill said it would only be enacted if over ten million dollars were raised by private donors, which the state has already achieved.

“This is about empowerment and the ability to make your own decisions. About your own health decisions about your own body, life and future,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet.

Not everyone was happy about the passage of the new bill, with many conservative and religious groups coming forward, including the California Catholic Conference, who openly showed their disdain for SB-24, calling it “dangerous” in September 2019.

According to Planned Parenthood, the abortion medication is a “safe and effective way to terminate early pregnancy.” However, Planned Parenthood also points out that the effectiveness of the medication decreases that farther along in the pregnancy.

The CSU system has yet to comment or take a position on the new law. However, the UC president released a written statement back in August saying that they would work to implement the requirements of the new law.

The law would require Chico State to also implement these measures. According to Chico State, 54% of its students are female, meaning this law could have an effect on the majority of students.

Carolyn Allen can be reached at [email protected]