Leyva Bill Ensuring College Access to Medication Abortion Advances to Governor

If Signed, California Would Be First State to Require On-Campus Access to this Vital Care

Thursday, August 30, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, the California State Senate approved legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will ensure access to medication abortion services on California public university campuses for students who seek to terminate their pregnancy during the first ten weeks.

Now headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, SB 320—also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act”—will require that public universities with on-campus student health centers provide medication abortion on campus by January 1, 2022.  Many student health centers at public universities in California already offer reproductive health services, including contraception, pregnancy options counseling, and other health related services. The lack of access to comprehensive and accessible reproductive care can hinder the well-being and academic success of college students, disproportionately impacting students of color and low-income students.

“As the federal government continues to roll back critical health care protections and services for women, I am pleased that California is clearly moving in the opposite direction by strengthening access to safe and timely reproductive health care,” Senator Leyva said. “SB 320 will ensure that college students in California are able to access reproductive health care and medication abortion services on campus. Since many women do not find out that they are pregnant until several weeks into their pregnancy, it is vital that they can reliably access medication abortion services before they reach ten weeks of pregnancy. By providing medication abortion services on campus by trained health care providers, students will not be forced to delay medical care, travel long distances, or even miss class or work responsibilities. As hundreds of college students and other supporters from across the state have testified in every committee and juncture in the legislative process, I am optimistic that Governor Brown will further affirm the right of college students to access medication abortion care at public university health care centers.”

Existing research shows that medication abortion is safe and effective and has a success rate of over 95 percent and serious adverse events occur in only 0.3 percent of instances. Given in two doses of medication, 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 - 48 hours later.  Most patients can return to normal activities within 1-2 days and a follow-up appointment is made for 1-2 weeks after the initial appointment with the provider to confirm successful pregnancy termination.

Sponsored jointly by the Women’s Policy Institute, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACT for Women and Girls, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Students United for Reproductive Justice at UC Berkeley, SB 320 has earned strong 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, 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, Time for Change, University of California Student Association, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Youth Justice Coalition, among many others.