California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill Sunday that would have required public universities to provide abortion pills for students on campus. Gov. Brown, who is typically a big supporter of abortion, called the bill "unnecessary."
“Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California,” he noted in his veto message. “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.”
The University of California and California State University, the campuses that would have been affected by the legislation, did not take any official position on the bill aside from expressing concern regarding the costs of implementing it.
Students for Life of America, which fought against the legislation, celebrated the veto as a victory for the “pro-life generation.”
“The dangerous piece of legislation that would have forced all taxpayer-funded universities to give out the RU-486 abortion drug for free,” they noted on Facebook. “Students for Life, along with other pro-life groups in California, have fought vigorously to defeat this legislation.”
State Sen. Connie Leyva (D), who introduced the bill, lamented Brown’s veto and said she would re-introduce the legislation in 2019.
“At its core, SB 320 affirmed the constitutional right of college students to access abortion care promptly and without delay,” she commented Sunday. “As the Trump Administration continues to unravel many of the critical health care protections and services for women, legislation such as this is urgently needed to make sure that Californians are able to access the full range of reproductive care regardless of where they may live.”