California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed a bill requiring all public colleges and universities in the UC and CSU systems to provide free abortion medications to students who elect to have such treatment.
What are the details?
Newsom signed SB 24 — the College Student Right to Access Act — into law on Friday. The new law will require student health centers within the UC and CSU school systems to provide primary health care and medical abortions to all students by January 2023.
In a press statement, the governor's office said, "Building on the state's historic $100 million investment in reproductive health in the 2019-20 state budget, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed into law legislation expanding access to critical reproductive health care services."
The release continued, "As other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom, in California we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming a woman's right [to] choose. We're removing barriers to reproductive health — increasing access on college campuses and using technology to modernize how patients interact with providers."
SB 24 passed the California Legislature in September.
Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed the bill in 2018, insisting that such a bill was unnecessary.
In 2018, Brown said, "Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California. According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance"
"Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary," Brown added at the time.
Campus Reform reports that 481,210 students are enrolled at CSU, and 280,380 students are enrolled on UC campuses for a total of 761,590 students. More than half of those students are female.