Senate Bill 320, which would require all California public universities to provide their respective Student Health clinics with Mifeprex – also known as the “abortion pill” – passed its final Committee vote in the State Assembly, making it one step closer to becoming law.
The bill passed in the California State Senate Appropriations Committee with 12 “ayes” and 5 “noes” on Aug. 16. It has now been sent to the full Assembly to be voted on.
S.B. 320, which was originally introduced by California Senator Connie Leyva in February 2017, was approved by the California Senate in January.
The bill would require all University of California and California State University campuses to offer the pills by Jan. 1, 2022, including UC Santa Barbara.
If the full Assembly votes to pass S.B. 320 with no amendments made, the bill heads straight to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signing. However, if the full Assembly amends the bill before it passes, the bill must go back to the State Senate for re-approval before being sent to the governor.
“California law recognizes abortion as a basic health service that must be covered by Medi-Cal and by private, managed care insurance plans regulated by the state,” the bill reads.
“It is the intent of the Legislature that public university student health centers make abortion by medication techniques as accessible and cost-effective for students as possible, and thus public university student health centers should treat abortion by medication techniques as a basic health service.”
The bill also says that “abortion by medication techniques is extremely safe” and “staff at on-campus student health centers include health professionals who are licensed to provide abortion by medical techniques.”
The Nexus previously reported that The National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), a non-partisan council, released a report on March 16 that confirmed that the Mifeprex pill is safe and effective.
“Oftentimes, students may not find out that they are pregnant until the fifth or sixth week, so it is vital that these services can be accessed promptly at student health centers on campus where students feel safe and already receive health care services,” Senator Levya said in a press release.
“College students should not have to delay medical care and travel many miles away from their work and school responsibilities to access to medication abortion services,” she added.