A highly controversial bill that would require California public colleges to provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018. SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee.  As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.

The proposal would require student centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider. It further requires on-campus health centers to offer abortion counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counseling approaches.

As a preliminary matter, SB 320 threatens the health of the very college-age women it purports to support.

First, the legislation encourages the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, including the “Abortion Pill,” RU-486.  These drugs operate by causing women to have miscarriages during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. These drugs may result in painful and serious medical complications, including hemorrhaging. Moreover, use of these drugs may result in the delivery of fetal remains in students’ homes, dormitory rooms, and public restrooms, placing them at greater risk for complications.

In addition, SB 320 threatens women’s health care by having college health clinics provide chemical abortifacients, something they are ill-equipped to provide. This fact was even acknowledged in the Senate Health Committee analysis of the bill:

“It is unclear whether these institutions have the ability to provide these services given how their health centers are set up.  In the case of community colleges, most of these health centers only offer very basic services, such as first aid and assessment and referral functions.  With regard to UC health centers, according to UC, none are equipped to offer abortion services.”

Moreover, SB 320 inappropriately has the State of California promote, fund and encourage abortions in our higher educational institutions. Ironically, even if California public colleges comply with this bill’s requirements, students will still be negatively affected.  The Senate Health Committee analysis noted:

Because campus health centers are all funded through fees on students, this bill may result in either shutting down the centers or substantial increases in student fees to pay for the additional services due to new staffing and equipment necessary to provide them.

Full story at The California Catholic Conference.