A bill focused on passing these measures, SB 320, would require all heath centers within four-year public universities to stock mifepristone and misoprostol, the two drugs used to induce a medication abortion for pregnancies less than 10 weeks. Medication abortion is different from PlanB, known as the morning after pill, as the latter prevents conception.
According to NPR, Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva introduced the bill in February after the student government at the University of California, Berkeley passed a resolution in 2016 asking the health center to provide medication abortions. Though members of student group Students United for Reproductive Justice were shut down by university leaders, Leyva took up the issue, along with the Women’s Foundation of California Women’s Policy Institute.
“When they were denied, they brought the issue to us, and I thought that this was something that young women should have access to, because it is their constitutional right,” Leyva told NPR.
While the bill doesn’t clarify which entities would be paying for the medication’s stocking, the Tara Health Foundation estimates the program would cost $14 million, a price point that includes training, necessary equipment, billing, and other preparations. A private group including the Women’s Foundation of California and the Tara Health Foundation have agreed to pay for the program.
Though California is progressive, the bill still received conservative pushback and will have to take into account the providers who feel morally opposed to facilitating such abortions. However, the bill has been approved by the state Senate committees on health, education, and appropriations, and is expected to be voted on in the Senate by the end of the month.