“College Student Right to Access Act” Passes Senate Education Committee

SB 320 Will Ensure Safe On-Campus Access to Early Medication Abortion Services

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, the Senate Education Committee passed important legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will improve the safe and reliable access to comprehensive reproductive health services for college students in California.

Specifically, SB 320 will 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. 

“Every woman in California, including students at public universities, has the constitutional right to access safe and timely early pregnancy termination.  SB 320 ensures that university students are able to receive comprehensive health care services on campus—which includes receiving safe medication abortion services without needless delays or obstacles,” Senator Leyva said.  “Students should not have to travel long distances, pay out of pocket or even miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive health care that can be provided at an on-campus facility that is specifically designed for student health care.  If a student makes that decision, the safest time to end her pregnancy is within the first ten weeks so it is essential to minimize unnecessary delays in accessing that care.  I thank my Senate Education Committee colleagues for supporting SB 320 to improve the academic success of students and empower them to make decisions supportive of their own personal and professional futures.”

Medication for early pregnancy termination is safe and effective.  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.  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.

Sponsored jointly by the Women’s Policy Institute, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACT for Women and Girls and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, SB 320 has received tremendous support from organizations across California, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Civil Liberties Union, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists / District IX, American Nurses Association / California, Associated Students of the University of California, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Women’s Law Center, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Essential Access Health, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Maternal and Child Health Access, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Association of Social Workers / California Chapter, National Council of Jewish Women / California, National Partnership for Women & Families, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, South Asian Network, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Youth Justice Coalition, among many others.

SB 320 previously passed from the Senate Health Committee in April 2017 and now proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.