California governor's veto a win for pro-life students, taxpayers

Students for Life at Fresno State University hailed the veto as a "victory for students and taxpayers in California."

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill on Sunday that would have required the University of California and California State University to provide medicated abortion services on campus.

The governor said that because of the close proximity of abortion clinics to college campuses, the bill was not necessary.

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have required the University of California and California State University to offer medicated abortion services on their campuses. 

State lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 20 in 2017 and passed it in August. The bill specifically required each California public university to offer abortion by medication. However, Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement Sunday that the legislation was not necessary.

“Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is a long-protected right in California,” Brown said. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”

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Initially, proponents of the legislation claimed that, if passed, no public funding would be used to finance this initiative and that it would instead be funded privately. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California told Campus Reform that it did not have a representative available to comment on the governor’s veto. The spokesman instead pointed to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blog post from August, in which the ACLU expressed its support for SB20.

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“Every month, around 500 students at the UC and CSU campuses seek the abortion pill at off-site health care facilities,” the ACLU blog post reads. “On average, a student seeking abortion in California will have to wait one week for the next available appointment at the facility closest to their campus — and that’s assuming they can make it to the appointment.”

The ACLU blog post went on to say that university student health centers already offer a variety of reproductive health services, and medicated abortions “should be among the services offered.”

The effort to bring abortion services to university health centers has been ongoing for a while, as Campus Reform has reported. In 2016, a student senator at UC-Berkeley argued that university administrators’ checks should be reorganized so that the university could provide abortion services.

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Bernadette Tay, president of Students for Life at Fresno State University, said that the decision by Brown is a victory for students.

“Governor Brown’s decision to veto SB320 is a victory for students and taxpayers in California. We agree with his assessment that this bill is truly unnecessary,” Tay told Campus Reform. “This was the California legislature’s way of forcing universities to overreach their role and push an inappropriate political agenda upon campuses.”

Tay agreed with Brown regarding the lack of necessity for the bill, as there is “no lack of access to abortion in California.” Tay also pointed out that people sometimes get “abortion drugs” confused with other, over-the-counter drugs.

“These abortion drugs are not to be confused with ‘Plan B’ or the ‘morning after pill,’” Tay said. “The abortion pill process is used to end a human life and terminate a pregnancy of up to 10 weeks.”

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