Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 320 on Sunday, a bill which would have required all California public universities to provide their respective Student Health clinics with Mifeprex – also known as the “abortion pill.”
“Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California,” Governor Brown said in his veto message.
However, he added that because the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities is five to seven miles, as stated in a study sponsored by the SB320 supporters, the bill is “not necessary.”
California Senator Connie Leyva originally introduced SB 320 in Feb. 2017. The bill passed its final vote in the California State Senate on Aug. 30, 2018.
The bill would have required all University of California and California State University campuses to offer the pills by Jan. 1, 2022, including UC Santa Barbara.
“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,” according to the bill’s text.
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.
Support for this bill came largely from the Women’s Foundation and the Tara Health Foundation. The two foundations helped fund the implementation of SB 320 into public universities.
“We are disappointed that Gov. Brown failed to support what the Senate, the Assembly, and 6 in 10 Californians already have recognized in this groundbreaking bill — that students of California need abortion care on campus,” Surina Khan, the CEO of The Women’s Foundation of California, said in a press release.
“We choose to listen to students, not those in power who continually deny their reproductive rights. We deserve a system that works for the student[s] of California.”