Massachusetts State Rep. pushes to require abortion pills to be distributed at university student health centers

By Dave Andrusko

The headline to the story in the Boston Globe  may be an exaggeration but is very troubling in any event: “The next abortion battleground: campus health clinics.”

Pro-abortion State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa has sponsored a bill requiring that the public university system dispense abortion pills at student health centers across the state. “The bill would require the state’s 13 public university campuses to provide abortion pills, and create a state fund to help campus health centers pay for training, facility or security upgrades, and any telehealth or equipment necessary,” according to Globe reporter Stephanie Ebbert. “Sabadosa hopes that private colleges and community colleges with health centers would follow suit.”

 “You want to make sure you’re expanding access to all the places that make sense,” Sabadosa said.

Obviously, the plan is based on similar legislation which was enacted in California, but “colleges have not leapt to support the potentially controversial measure, which is still in committee,” Ebbert  added. “But the effort secured a major victory this week when UMass Amherst announced it would begin offering medication abortion at its health center next fall.”

However the university presidents “have expressed concerns about a legislative mandate particularly because some of their campuses lack ‘robust medical facilities,’ said Vincent Pedone, executive officer of the State Universities Council of Presidents. “He also questioned the difficulty of accessing abortion in Massachusetts, where rights are protected under state law and medication abortion is newly available by mail.”

The good news is the proposal is meeting with Sabadosa described as “sharp resistance” from pro-life activists.

“We think it compromises women’s safety,” said Kate Scott,  who started a Students for Life group at UMass Amherst two years ago. “And we also think it’s out of the scope of what a public university should be doing. Especially with taxpayer funding.” According to Nancy Flanders, “The abortion pill has been found to be four times more dangerous for women than a first-trimester surgical abortion. Twenty-six known women in the United States alone have died in association with the use of the abortion pill, according to the latest serious adverse events report from the FDA.”