California to require abortion medication at public colleges
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — California will be the first state to require abortion medication on college campuses under a law signed by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
The law takes effect in 2023 and only applies to the 34 campuses in the University of California and California State University systems.
But the law will only be implemented if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it.
Former California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, arguing it was not necessary because abortion services were readily available off campus.
But Newsom, who took office in January, said the law is needed “as other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom.”
Several Republican-led states, including Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi, have passed laws banning abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected.
Abortion-rights groups are challenging those laws in court.
“Abortion is a protected right, and it is important that everyone — including college students — have access to that right, if they so choose,” said Democratic Senator Connie Leyva, the bill’s author.
Religious and anti-abortion groups opposed the bill, with Live Action President Lila Rose saying the law “turns universities into abortion centres.”
And Maria Jose Fernandez, legislative advocate for the California Catholic Conference, said the law is “trying to limit the alternatives for women.”
“We’re giving them the option to terminate a life, but what about those who want to continue on with that pregnancy? Where is the help for those women?” Fernandez said.