Leyva Bill Ensuring College Student Access to Medication Abortion Clears Assembly Health Committee

SB 24 Reaffirms California as “a national leader on reproductive justice”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

SACRAMENTO – During this volatile time when access to abortion and reproductive health care is threatened at both the national level and in states across our country, the Assembly Health Committee today 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.

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 affecting students of color and low-income students.

“As women’s health care and access to abortion continue to be under attack across the United States, we here in California refuse to return to the days when accessing an abortion was nearly impossible and women were relegated to receiving inadequate care,” Senator Leyva said.  “Access to abortion is a constitutional right and every college student deserves access to that right on campus.  As the author of SB 24, I firmly believe that college students—just like every Californian—should not be forced to delay important medical care.  There is no reason why college students should have to travel long distances or even miss classes or work when medication abortion can be offered on campus.  Once SB 24 becomes law, California will cement its rightful place as a national leader on reproductive justice and access to abortion.”

Medication abortion, commonly called ‘the abortion pill,' is a non-invasive, non-surgical process for ending a pregnancy by taking prescription medication that blocks hormones needed for a pregnancy to continue. 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.

Now moving to the Assembly Higher Education Committee for consideration, 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 / Women’s Policy Institute.  The measure is also supported by over one hundred student, faculty, health care, reproductive rights, women’s rights, equality and other organizations.