With a shift from “safe, legal, and rare” to “abortion on demand and without apology,” it is never a surprise when leftist legislators propose bills that increase access to money-making, life-ending abortion procedures—especially in California. Already one of the most abortion-friendly states in America, our representatives continuously fight for the approval and support of the largest abortion provider and one of the most politically powerful organizations in California, Planned Parenthood. Their current target? Students.
According to their 2017-2018 financial report, Planned Parenthood commits over 332,000 abortions every year. About 40% of those getting an abortion are college-age women. Unfortunately, that number is not good enough for the abortion Goliath.
California’s Senate Bill 24would mandate the distribution of the RU-486 abortion pill, which causes an abortion for women up to 10 weeks pregnant, on all public university campuses. The bill would place a tremendous financial and legal burden on schools, shifting responsibilities for medical care from hospitals and clinics to student health centers, turning our public universities into abortion facilities.
Though abortion advocates want students to believe that taking abortion drugs is as easy as taking an ibuprofen, it is not a simple procedure. This process requires an initial appointment, several hours spent at home or a shared dorm restroom (unsupervised) while experiencing an artificially-induced miscarriage, and a follow-up appointment to verify completion of the process.
Dr. Daniel Grossman, a witness testifying on behalf of SB 24, admitted that at least 3% of the time, the woman requires a follow-up surgical abortion, though numerous sources, including one that Grossman co-authored, state that the failure rate is actually much higher. The pills cause extreme bleeding and hemorrhaging, and the FDA has even reported 24 cases of death. Is an academic institution really the place to be handing out these drugs?
Though the bill states that student fees and taxpayer dollars are not “require[d]” to fund the abortion program, student and public funds are not prohibited from being utilized. Last year, the University of California and California State University systems both stated that student fees would be needed for start-up and ongoing costs. The author of the bill insists that the implementation of this program would facilitate student access to abortion, but there is no lack of access to abortion in California. Public university campuses in California are located within an average of six miles of the nearest abortion pill provider.
For these reasons, many pro-choice individuals oppose the bill, including pro-choice former governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed this same legislation last year. Nevertheless, our extremist legislators have put the bill back on the table once again.
Another bill, Assembly Bill 624, would require junior high, high school, and college student identification cards to include the phone number of a “sexual or reproductive health hotline.” Of course, this means that every student as young as 11 years old could be wearing Planned Parenthood’s phone number on a card hanging from their neck.
Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel introduced this bill after receiving a campaign contribution of a few thousand dollars from Planned Parenthood last year. This proposed legislation also raises questions about the free speech rights of pro-life students, who may be forced to advertise for an abortion provider. Why does the state feel that a student should turn to them, rather than their parents, when they are in need of help?
Universities are places of learning. These bills view campuses as a mad scientist’s laboratory for leftist social experiments. It isn’t the state’s job to recommend abortion providers to students, nor to provide abortion drugs on campus. That’s why Students for Life groups and other pro-life organizations have held campus displays to make these extreme laws known, collected thousands of signatures from both pro-life and pro-choice individuals, and made numerous trips to the capitol to testify and meet with legislators to stop the abortion industry from taking over our schools.
With an outcry from former abortion facility employees, post-abortive women, and other pro-life advocates who are convincingly demonstrating the reality of human life in the womb and the adverse social ramifications of abortion, Planned Parenthood is feeling desperate. It now continuously turns to politicians to pass extreme abortion laws in return for their financial and political support. If California continues to let the abortion industry control our schools and health regulations, while simultaneously attacking free speech, other states will start to follow this abhorrent trend.
Bernadette Tasy is President of Students for Life at Fresno State, one of the more than 90 groups that Students for Life of America serves in California.