College students in California public universities and community colleges might have another option for non-surgical abortion methods, if a newly proposed State Senate Bill becomes law.
State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, recently introduced the bill which requires student health centers in state-funded post-secondary education to offer college students with medication to abort pregnancy.
“This is about making sure young women have access to reproductive rights.” Leyva said. “A women should always have the right to decide when she incorporates a family into her life.”
Non-surgical abortion, or the abortion pill Mifepristone, is an option for some who have a complicated pregnancy they wish to end. It is a two-pill regimen. The first pill causes the embryo to detach from the uterine wall. Two days later, a second pill contracts the uterus to expel the embryo.
As the U.S. Congress is moving toward possibly defunding Planned Parenthood, a 100-year-old health care provider, this bill could protect college students’ access to affordable abortion.
Although most public colleges in California offer some pregnancy counseling and birth control options, Levya’s bill would require state colleges to provide students with more.
The University of La Verne Health Center does not provide abortion, services.
The health center offers gynecological exams, birth control pills, emergency contraception, condoms, and free testing and treatment for sexual transmitted infections, but for abortion students are referred elsewhere.
“If we as a University and medical staff wanted to consider abortion by medication, we would bring the appropriate stakeholders together to make the final decision of whether or not to offer a non-surgical method of abortion,” Denne said. “Since the proposal is targeted at California public universities and community colleges, La Verne will not be impacted by the bill.”
In an informal survey, five out of eight ULV women thought the proposed bill was a good idea. Alyssa Ramos, senior speech communications major, said she feels the bill would make students more comfortable on campus.
“It’s a great step forward toward women’s choice,” said Ramos. “It would add to the comfort (of) knowing that a campus can offer abortion services and solutions.”
Freshman sociology major Magaly Ramirez, agreed.
“I think that would be great to provide … a way to get access to help on campus, especially if clinics aren’t close by,” Ramirez said.
The five students who supported the bill thought the bill should be extended to private universities as well.”
A few had mixed feelings about the bill.
“I’m a Catholic so I don’t believe in abortion,” said Bailey Boschi, a sophomore criminology major. “I am also for women’s choice and I believe in women’s empowerment. I am focused on women’s well-being, but I am conflicted because of my religion.”
The bill, introduced in February, was amended in Senate March 16, and had its first committee hearing on April 19.
“The next step is to committee on education,” Leyva said. “This is the very beginning.”
Flora Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.