College Student Right to Access Act (SB320) Advances in California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education

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justCARE: Campus Action for Reproductive Equity Announces California One Step Closer to Making the Abortion Pill Available on Public University Campuses

Today’s vote was a historic step towards ensuring that California students have access to the reproductive health services they need, including abortion.

Today, the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education voted to advance SB 320, the College Right to Access Act, by a vote of 8-3. While campus health centers provide quality health care at low or no cost to students across California, no clinics on public campuses currently provide abortion services. SB 320 would change that.

“Today’s vote was a historic step towards ensuring that California students have access to the reproductive health services they need, including abortion,” said Surina Khan, CEO, The Women’s Foundation of California. “All students, wherever they live or go to school, should be able to make the decisions that are best for their unique circumstances and future: including the decision to become a parent, end a pregnancy, or pursue an education. By working to lift barriers to abortion care on university campuses, lawmakers are making a tangible difference in students’ lives.”

California’s higher education system has more students enrolled in institutions of higher learning than any other state in the country. Students often struggle to access abortion: many do not have transportation and going off campus for health care can be financially and logistically prohibitive.

“Two years ago, my fellow students and I started organizing to get UC Berkeley’s student health center to provide medication abortion—with today’s vote, our vision is on the verge of becoming reality,” said Adiba Khan, Co-Founder of Berkeley Students United for Reproductive Justice. “Once a student has decided to end a pregnancy, they should be able to get stigma-free abortion care on campus, instead of being forced to go off campus to see a provider they don’t know and unnecessarily miss class or work."

“The abortion pill is safe, effective, and simple to provide. It can —and should—be offered on campus at student health centers,” added Sarah Hutchinson, Policy Director at ACT for Women and Girls. “By voting for this bill, our legislators are voting to support the personal and academic success of California students—and that’s good for everyone.”

The bill was has widespread support across the state: polling shows that 60% of Californians support making the abortion pill available on campus.

The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration later this summer.

A consortium of funders including the Women’s Foundation of California and Tara Health Foundation have committed to providing the necessary funding to implement medication abortion on California’s public university campuses if SB 320 becomes law.

justCARE: Campus Action for Reproductive Equity mobilizes students and allies across California to make the abortion pill on campus a reality. We envision a future where reproductive health services are available to all students who need them, wherever we live or go to school.

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Nikki Metzgar
ConwayStrategic
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