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California considering law forcing universities to commit abortions on campus

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

CALIFORNIA, April 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The California Senate is considering a bill that would mandate public universities dispense the abortion pill at their student health centers and provide abortion coverage in student health plans.

Senate Bill 320, if passed, would "require campuses of the California State University and the California Community Colleges that operate on-campus health centers to offer abortion by medication techniques and scientifically accurate abortion counseling services to their students." It was introduced by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-20. 

"The bill would also require, as a condition for the use of state funds for purposes of operating on-campus health centers, each campus of the University of California that has an on-campus health center to offer abortion by medication techniques and scientifically accurate abortion counseling services to its students," it says.

Medication or "chemical" abortion – the RU-486 abortion pill – is used for abortions early in pregnancy, usually during the first nine or 10 weeks.

A mother takes mifepristone and then misoprostol over several days. Mifepristone starves the pre-born baby of nutrients and softens and breaks down the uterine lining. Misoprostol ensures the tiny human is expelled from the uterus, which the woman will then have to dispose of. 

"Many California public higher education institutions with on-campus health centers do not currently provide abortion by medication techniques," the bill says. "Abortion by medication techniques is extremely safe, highly effective, and cost effective. Abortion by medication techniques is an essential part of comprehensive women’s healthcare, and should be accessible at on-campus health care centers. ... Clinicians who are legally authorized to provide abortion, but are not currently trained to provide abortion by medication techniques, can be trained inexpensively to do so, and such training falls within the requirements of continuing education for medical providers."

It argues universities should be forced to provide pill abortions because "students seeking early pregnancy termination, especially those enrolled at institutions outside of major urban centers, face prohibitively expensive travel, often without reliable means of transportation, to a clinic that may be hours from their campus, out of their city, county, or even geographic region."

"These financial and time burdens negatively impact academic performance and mental health," the bill states. 

The "scientifically accurate abortion counseling services" the bill mandates isn't clearly defined.

"This bill is an outrage," Nathan Apodaca, president of Students for Life at California State University San Marcos, told LifeSiteNews. It should concern "those who oppose abortion and those who consider themselves 'pro-choice' on the issue. There is nothing pro-choice about requiring someone to pay for the intentional killing of an innocent human being, regardless of the situation, while simultaneously not funding things like adoption referrals, abortion alternatives, and other goods that many 'pro-choicers' say will help lower abortion rates."

"This bill essentially is saying that women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies cannot be successful in school and be a mother," Margaret Caligaris, president of Students for Life at California Polytechnic State University, told LifeSiteNews via email. "That's insulting to women everywhere."

Caligaris is organizing a campus-wide rally against the bill on April 25.

"This is just another attempt to force taxpayers to subsidize the abortion industry," Deanna Wallace of Americans United for Life told LifeSiteNews via email. She said she's "disturbed by the idea of a student health center giving out potentially dangerous medications such as RU-486. Student health centers are not equipped to deal with the numerous complications that can arise, and they would be putting their own students at risk."

Wallace pointed to statements from the FDA and the drug manufacturer acknowledging that RU-486 poses health risks for women, including the risk of death. 

"[N]early all of the women who receive Mifeprex and misoprostol [the RU-486 regimen] will report adverse reactions, and many can be expected to report more than one such reaction," the Mifeprex drug label acknowledges. 

These "adverse reactions" range from abdominal pain and uterine cramping to uterine hemorrhage, fever, and viral infections. 

"A 2015 study seeking to measure abortion complications among women in California found that the complication rate for medication abortions was nearly four times as high as surgical abortions, with approximately 5.2 percent of women experiencing a complication requiring medical attention within six weeks of their abortion," said Wallace. "At least eight women in the U.S. have died due to serious infections following use of RU-486. ... In addition, RU-486 is contraindicated if a patient does not have adequate access to medical facilities equipped to provide emergency treatment of incomplete abortion, blood transfusions, and emergency resuscitation during the period from the first visit until discharged by the administering physician."

"Student health centers are not able to provide this level of care," meaning female students will be placed at great risk if the bill becomes law, she said.

California already has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the country. There are no parental involvement laws regarding minors seeking abortions. There is no mandatory waiting period. Its Obamacare health insurance plans cover abortion on demand. According to Operation Resuce, which tracks the abortion industry, there are around 65 or more abortion facilities in California.

"Instead of offering encouragement, informing pregnant students of their rights under Title IX, connecting them with local resources to housing and childcare, or helping to create a life-affirming campus, some California legislators would rather demean these women and help them end the life of their child," Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told LifeSiteNews.

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