Assembly Higher Education Committee Agrees: College Students Need Access to Medication Abortion

SB 24 Advances One Step Closer to Governor’s Desk

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

SACRAMENTO – As other states and the federal government continue to threaten and even ban access to reproductive healthcare, the Assembly Higher Education Committee today passed the “College Student Right to Access Act” by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino).  This important legislation will ensure access to medication abortion on California public university campuses for students who seek to end their pregnancy during the first ten weeks.

Now advancing to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration, Senate Bill 24 requires that public universities with on-campus student health centers offer medication abortion on campus by January 1, 2023.  Currently, student health centers at many public universities in California offer reproductive health services, including contraception, pregnancy options counseling and other health related services.  Students of color and low-income students are impacted disproportionately by the lack of access to comprehensive and accessible reproductive care, which can hinder their well-being and academic success.

“As a national leader on access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, California must continue to proactively lead efforts to protect every individual’s right to choose,” Senator Leyva said.  “SB 24 reaffirms the constitutional right of every college student to access abortion care.  College students that wish to end their pregnancy should have the right to access that service on campus without delay.  I thank my Assembly Higher Education Committee colleagues for supporting this important legislation that will help college students plan their futures and reach their personal and professional goals.”

Commonly called ‘the abortion pill,' medication abortion 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.

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 legislation is also supported by over one hundred student, faculty, health care, reproductive rights, women’s rights, equality and other organizations.