California assembly committee passes measure requiring public college student medical services to provide chemical abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on our vacation through September 7. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked.

The Daily Californian, an independent student run newspaper that covers the University of California at Berkeley, reported today that the California Assembly Committee on Health has voted 10–4 to advance SB 320.

As NRL News Today reported, SB 320 would require that all California public university student medical centers provide chemical abortion services to students. The bill would not include surgical abortions, at least so far.

In a previous story, the Daily Californian traced the idea for mandatory access to the abortion pill back to October 2015 when one student and one alumna “spearheaded a movement at UC Berkeley through their organization, Students United for Reproductive Justice, or SURJ. The movement called for the Tang Center [the name for the University Health Services] to provide medication abortions as part of the Student Health Insurance Plan, or SHIP.”

Subsequently the Associated Students of the University of California urged UC Berkeley’s University Health Services to offer campus abortion services to all students.

“Since then, the resolution has taken the form of a state Senate bill, written by co-directors of Students United for Reproductive Justice, or SURJ, Adiba Khan, Marandah Field-Elliot and Phoebe Abramowitz,” according to reporter Nathan Chin. “The bill is currently going through the state’s legislative system and passed the state Senate on Jan. 29.”

That “legislative system” includes having already sent the bill to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. If it is approved, it would be “sent to the Committee on Appropriations and then possibly reaching the Assembly floor for a full vote,” according to Chin.

Chin quoted UC Berkeley alumnus Alex Huber, a member of Berkeley Students for Life, who said funding would come from “private donors and companies such as Planned Parenthood.”

According to the Daily Californian

Groups such as Berkeley Students for Life have publicly expressed concerns about the bill on a moral and logistical level. Huber said abortion is immoral at all stages of fetus development because the fetus already has “unique” DNA at conception.

Additionally, Huber claimed that the bill’s language regarding funding raises questions about the affordability for consumers after the private money supply has been depleted.

“This is a missed opportunity to allocate money to resources that benefit mothers, like pregnancy centers and child care services,” Huber said.