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Pro-life activists: California bill may have students ‘paying for their classmates’ abortions’

‘Toilet seat abortions’ may be coming to all public California universities

Earlier this week, pro-life leaders testified at the California state Senate against a bill that would require all public universities in California to provide abortion pills, with one activist warning that, if California adopts the law, it could quickly spread to other states.

The bill would mandate that California public universities provide students with RU-486, a drug used in first trimester abortions. The drug works by blocking a hormone called progesterone that ensures the mother’s uterus thickens and allows a newly-created human to develop. Without that hormone, the uterine lining is shed and the human being subsequently dies.

On Wednesday, the California Senate Education Committee held a hearing where advocates and critics of the bill were able to testify in favor of or against it. At that hearing, Students for Life of America, a major campus pro-life organization, called upon California legislators to vote against the proposed law.

Kristan Hawkins, the President of Students for Life of America, flew to Sacramento to testify against the bill. In her testimony, Hawkins cited a recent FDA report stating that in the past 20 years, 24 women have died from the abortion procedure this bill would force public universities to provide.

“Are California’s schools prepared to handle the repercussions of students experiencing possibly life-ending bleeding and infections, caused by the abortion pills the school is providing?” Hawkins asked during the hearing.

Hawkins also noted that SB-24 could pose an issue for the conscience rights of students and university employees.

“Given that the both UC and CSU health programs are funded through student fees, it is not just possible but likely students will ultimately be paying for their classmates’ abortions. Further, no provision has been made in the proposal to protect the conscience rights of students or health center personnel, who don’t want to fund or support toilet seat abortions, ending human life on college and university campuses,” she said.

Prior effort failed last year

Both chambers of the California state legislature passed a bill nearly identical to SB-24 last year, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it. Brown stated the bill was “not necessary” because most universities are located near abortion clinics. California Democrats are hedging their bets that newly elected Gov. Newsom will sign the revived bill into law.

In a phone interview, Hawkins told The College Fix that she flew to Sacramento to testify before the State Senate in hopes that her presence would prompt the national conservative media to pay more attention to the bill.

“Governor Newsom has already said he’ll sign it into law, and they’ve already said they want to use California as a prototype for other states…What happens here will transfer to other states,” Hawkins said.

Tamika Bassman, the co-president of Students for Life at UC Berkeley, was among the students present on Wednesday. Bassman was with Hawkins to answer questions from the legislators after testimonies were given, but some senators were absent and no questions were asked.

Bassman told The College Fix that no vote was taken on the bill Wednesday morning “because so few senators were present.” Bassman added that if SB-24 passes through the Education Committee, the bill would then proceed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for another vote. If the final version of the bill is passed by the Senate, it would proceed to the legislature’s other chamber, the California State Assembly, after which it would head to the governor’s office.

The Democrats have strong majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, and those majorities grew after the 2018 midterm elections, likely guaranteeing that the bill will end up on Newsom’s desk.

MORE: Abortion pill mandate for California universities vetoed by Governor Brown

MORE: Schools don’t want to discuss insurance plans that cover abortion

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About the Author
Ryan Everson -- Arizona State University