California has recently taken its fight one step further with senate bill 320, which would require health centers at publicly funded colleges to provide abortion pills for students. According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill, introduced by Democratic Senator Connie Leyva, would specifically mandate that student health centers at public and community colleges in the state — which operate with state funding — provide students with access to medication to abort a pregnancy.
According to Planned Parenthood, a medication abortion is a safe procedure that allows someone to terminate pregnancy by taking two pills — one at the clinic or health center, and another at home 24-48 hours later.
“I think that it’s incredibly important because women of all ages, especially young women, need to make sure they have control over their future – that they have a choice of when they want to incorporate a family into their lives,” Leyva told Sacramento Bee.
Leyva also told Sacramento Bee that she's introducing the bill now partly in response to the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and reduce federal funding for reproductive healthcare. As we learned earlier this week from a report from the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP's proposed healthcare replacement would reduce services for women seeking abortions, in addition to blocking tax credits from being used for abortion services.
It remains to be seen whether or not the bill will be passed, but given that several states have felt emboldened as of late to propose rigid abortion laws, it's refreshing to see states that are fighting for reproductive rights. After all, according to a May 2016 Gallup poll, 79% of Americans think abortion should be legal. It's time the government follows suit.
This piece has been corrected to accurately represent the Gallup poll statistic.