Senate Education Committee Approves Leyva Bill Ensuring College Student Access to Medication Abortion

SB 24 “Supports the Academic and Personal Success of College Students”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, the Senate Education Committee 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 end their pregnancy up to 10 weeks.

Also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act”, SB 24 will require that public universities provide medication abortion services at on-campus student health centers by January 1, 2023.  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.

“While some legislators in other states are actively turning their backs on the needs of women, I thank my Senate Education Committee colleagues for approving SB 24, which supports the academic and personal success of college students by ensuring that reproductive health services are available to all students who might need them without unnecessary barriers,” Senator Leyva said. “SB 24 is a clear step forward for Californians seeking to access their constitutionally protected right to abortion, including students on college campuses.  It’s critically important that college students don’t face unnecessary barriers in accessing their rights, particularly when these services can be provided at on-campus student health centers where students already receive other health care services.  Students should not be forced to delay important medical care, travel long distances or miss class or work responsibilities when medication abortion can be offered by trained health care providers on campus.”

Medication abortion is both safe and effective, and research shows that medical abortion has a success rate of over 95 percent and serious adverse events exist in only 0.3 percent of instances.

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 measure has also earned strong 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.

The “College Student Right to Access Act” previously passed from the Senate Health Committee earlier this month and will next proceed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.