Abortion pill not coming to La Verne yet

Taylor Moore
Social Media Editor

Starting Jan.1, 2023, abortion pills will be available in Cal State and UC health centers. However, the health center at the University of La Verne will not be offering the abortion pill.  

Under the new law, Senate Bill 24, authored by state Sen. Connie M. Levya in 2019, Cal States and UC’s are required to start stocking RU 486 abortion medication on their campuses. The law also requires and has established a so-called College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund. 

Jamie Solis, director of ULV’s health center said that the center is “too small” to offer the abortion pill. “We have one doctor that works here and we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we won’t be able to follow-up with students properly,” Solis said.

The abortion pill is a generally safer medical alternative to surgical abortions. 

According to Planned Parenthood, the pill has several steps and includes two different medicines. The first medication is called mifepristone, which stops the pregnancy from growing. The second medication is called misoprostol, which causes cramping and bleeding that would eventually empty the uterus. The second medicine is either taken immediately after the first one or 48 hours after, depending on a doctor’s or nurse’s recommendation. The last step is to follow up with a medical provider to make sure the abortion worked. 

The University health center has a total of five staff members – one licensed doctor, three registered nurses and one medical assistant. 

Solis said that the University would rather direct students to a larger medical facility that specializes in abortion, such as Planned Parenthood, with two locations close to the school, in Pomona and Glendora, or the Family Planning Associates Medical Group on Whittier Boulevard in Los Angeles, in the case that complications should come with the pill. 

According to Planned Parenthood, an abortion can cost up to $750, but is often less. The price varies depending on the state or health center and whether a patient uses health insurance. 

Solis expressed concern about possible complications that can arise from taking the abortion medication, and she said the health center does not have enough staff to care for a student from the start of the treatment to the end of it, which is why referring students to a larger medical provider is the best thing to do. 

According to Planned Parenthood, medication abortion has been used safely in the U.S. for more than 20 years. 

While serious complications are rare, they can still occur. 

According to the Women’s Health Policy website, the medication abortion has a 0.4% risk of major complications. 

These complications include the pill not terminating the pregnancy and some of the pregnancy tissue being left in the uterus. Blood clots in the uterus, excessive bleeding, infection or an allergic reaction to one of them are other potential complications. 

Risks during surgical abortion procedures are similar to those of the abortion pill, with the added risks of injury to a patient’s cervix, uterus or other organs. According to a study conducted by the National Liberty of Medicine in May 2022, the total abortion-procedure-related complication rate is estimated to be about 2%. 

According to John Hopkins Medicine website, risks during pregnancy include ectopic pregnancy, which is when the fetus develops outside of the uterus, which can be fatal. There is also the risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth. 

According to Planned Parenthood, the abortion pill has no long-term side effects and is a common way for women to have an abortion.

According to Guttmacher Institute’s data, medication abortion accounted for 54% of abortions in the U.S. in 2020, while 2022 estimates will be released later this year. 

According to Planned Parenthood, unless there is a rare and serious complication that has been treated, there is generally no risk to a patient’s physical or emotional health and future pregnancies. 

Solis said anyone considering an abortion should understand the risks and benefits before they go through with taking medication or going through a procedure, either surgical or receiving an injection. 

Kasee Verma, sophomore kinesiology major at Cal State Long Beach, said she loves the idea of having access to abortion medication on campuses because it should be a woman’s right to choose and have access to this type of health care.

Sarah Siddique, junior political science major at Cal Poly Pomona, agrees. 

“Students on college campuses, and frankly high school campuses as well, should be…given the privacy to terminate a pregnancy that may not be possible outside of school due to family conditions or state law,” Siddique said.

Brett Chavez, junior political science major at UC Santa Cruz, also agrees that making the abortion pill available in Cal States and UC health centers is a good idea. 

“Abortion access is health care, and greater access to health care should always be available to all people,” Chavez said. 

Solis said that students have access to many types of health care on campus, from contraceptives to abortion referrals. While the health center will not carry the abortion medication, students can come in to receive help scheduling a same-day appointment at a clinic, such as Planned Parenthood, to discuss their options. 

“I would really like to focus efforts on prevention, not only from pregnancy, but everything,” Solis said. “You don’t want to learn afterwards, you want to try to prevent things before they start.” 

The center also offers emergency contraceptive, or the morning after pill, which can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent unwanted pregnancy.  

The health center provides students with free oral birth control pills and condoms. If there is a need for a different type of birth control, the health center will refer students, and University insurance will pick up most of the cost, Solis said. 

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu

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Taylor Moore is a junior broadcast journalism major and LV Life editor for Spring 2023. In her fourth semester on Campus Times, this is her second time serving as LV Life editor. She has also served as social media editor and staff writer.

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