Leyva Bill Ensuring College Student Access to Medication Abortion Clears Committee

SB 24 Would Make California First State to Guarantee On-Campus Early Abortion Access for Students

Thursday, April 4, 2019

SACRAMENTO – While states across our country continue to restrict access to critical reproductive health care services, the Senate Health Committee today approved important legislation 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.

Senate Bill 24—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, 2023.  Student health centers at many public universities in California already offer reproductive health services, including contraception, pregnancy options counseling, and other health related services. Lack of access to comprehensive reproductive care can hurt the well-being and academic success of college students, disproportionately impacting low-income students and students of color.

“SB 24 is an important step toward ensuring that the right to abortion is available to all Californians, and that our college students don't face unnecessary barriers,” Senator Leyva said.  “Students should not have to travel off campus or miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive care that can easily be provided at a student health center.  This important legislation will help to improve the academic success of students and empower them to make decisions supportive of their own personal and professional futures.”

With a success rate of over 95 percent and serious adverse events occurring in only 0.3 percent of instances, research shows that medication abortion is safe and effective. 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.

In spite of immense support by students at University of California and California State University campuses, health care and reproductive rights organizations, women’s rights advocates and, dozens of other organizations across California, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a previous version of this same legislation in September 2018.

SB 24 is sponsored jointly by ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACLU of California, ACT for Women and Girls, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Students United for Reproductive Justice at UC Berkeley and Women’s Foundation of California.  The Senate Education Committee will next consider the “College Student Right to Access Act” later this spring.