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California Passes Bill to Make the Abortion Pill Available at all Public Universities

The California legislature has passed and sent to Gov. Newsom SB24, which will require all public universities in the state to offer the “abortion pill” at their health clinics as part of standard health care:

Because abortion by medication techniques is both a recognized treatment for the medical condition of pregnancy and a health service every pregnant person in the state has the legal right to choose, it is the intent of the Legislature that public university student health centers make abortion by medication techniques as accessible and cost effective for students as possible. (SB24 §1(h) )

Therefore:

On and after January 1, 2023, each public university student health center shall offer abortion by medication techniques onsite. This service may be performed by providers on staff at the student health center, through telehealth services, or by providers associated with a contracted external agency. (SB24 §2(a))

This was reported in today’s New York Times: In First, California Would Require Public Universities to Provide Abortion Pills

The bill, which would use money raised from private donors to equip and train campus health centers, grew out of a student-led movement at the University of California, Berkeley, and it has sparked the introduction of a similar bill in Massachusetts.

Newsom has a month to sign it into law, and based on his past statements, he’s likely to do so. All Californians should write to him encouraging him to sign it.

For those of you in Massachusetts:

A similar bill has been introduced in Massachusetts by State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa. “It feels like a very winnable fight,” she said.

One other note: Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for Students for Life of America, which opposes abortions, tried this argument:

“We also are very concerned about the conscience rights of people — students whose fees will be used to underwrite these health centers,” she said.

Well, there are many Christians who oppose war on religious grounds. Nonetheless, Christian pacifists pay taxes which go to support the Department of Defense and the military-industrial complex, and if they refuse to pay them on those grounds, they go to jail, religious objection notwithstanding.

This “conscience rights” argument is one that is being increasingly used to justify religious discrimination, and Hamrick’s “concern” is one more weapon in that war. Don’t let her get away with it.

(PS: There is a stronger argument to be made for Christian pacifism than for opposition to abortion. Most Christians, and definitely all Church Fathers, prior to around 250 CE refused to fight even in self-defense and opposed Christians joining the Roman army, and gave solid theological reasons for doing so. )

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