California State Campuses to offer Abortion Pills and Services starting Jan. 1

LONG BEACH, CA – The University of California and California State campuses will now work to give access to medication abortion on all campuses, starting Jan. 1.

In 2019, Senator Connie Leyva introduced Senate Bill 24 (SB 24) which requires each public university health center to offer abortion by medication. Signed in the same year, the law is to be implemented by January 1, 2023. 

This resolve becomes increasingly relevant amidst the controversial decision made on June 24 by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark case dating back to 1973. This decision ended the right to constitutional abortion, leaving the decision up to the states. Ultimately, the decision led to strong reactions from the public, from anger to celebration. When SB 24 was signed, there was no telling it would be as significant as it is today.

Senate Bill 24 is anticipated to let the UC and Cal State system minimize the negative impact on students’ studies’ and mental health. School healthcare officials believe having early and accessible healthcare through their respective campuses means they can stay on track to perform well in their education and life goals. 

Training for abortion techniques falls within the continuing education requirements for healthcare providers. According to SB 24, under California law, “all residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology include training in abortion. Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse-midwives are legally authorized to perform abortions by medication techniques.” The Jan. 1 deadline means campuses will be training their on-site medical professionals to administer medication abortions. 

As many as 400,000 students who identify as female attend California campuses. This law protects their right to seek safe and accessible abortion by medication. It will ensure that students have the means to have access to early pregnancy termination without having to travel long distances or potentially pay high prices.

“The health and well-being of California State University students is a priority for the university. All 23 campus health centers currently provide students access to comprehensive and preventative health service,” said Toni Molle, Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs for the California State University. 

Molle continued, “The CSU seeks to empower students from all backgrounds to freely pursue their personal and professional dreams as part of a fair and just society and to minimize the negative impact of health concerns on students’ studies to facilitate retention and graduation. Beginning no later than January 1, 2023, we anticipate our health centers will be in compliance with the College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24).”

Opening California campuses to allow abortion appointments will also help mitigate the pressure on surrounding clinics by opening up appointments for those looking for treatment. Medical help for abortion and other healthcare services on campus means students do not have to travel outside of their city, county or region, or get exhausted looking for outside resources. For more information on Senate Bill 24, visit the California Legislative Information page here.

By: Linda Mai