Leyva Bill Ensuring College Student Access to Medication Abortion Heads to Governor’s Desk

SB 24 “reaffirms the right of every college student to access abortion”

Friday, September 13, 2019

SACRAMENTO – As access to abortion and reproductive health care is under attack in states across our country, the California State Legislature gave final approval to 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, but none offer abortion care. 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.

“In a time when states across our country are rolling back women’s health care and access to abortion, California continues to lead the nation to protect every individual’s right to choose,” Senator Leyva said.  “SB 24 reaffirms the right of every college student to access abortion.  By ensuring that abortion care is available on campus, college students will not have to choose between delaying important medical care or having to travel long distances or miss classes or work.  I thank the Governor for inviting women from conservative states seeking abortions to come to California to access their right to abortion care.  I also appreciate Governor Newsom’s public declaration of support last year for SB 320—the previous version of SB 24—and am hopeful that he will continue to prioritize the rights of all Californians seeking abortion care, including those attending California’s public university campuses.”

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.

Polling shows that making medication abortion available on college campuses has widespread support among Californians, including 72 percent of women.

The “College Student Right to Access Act” 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.  SB 24 is also supported by over one hundred student, faculty, health care, reproductive rights, women’s rights, equality and other organizations, including the statewide student organizations Cal State Student Association and the University of California Student Association.