All 34 public colleges in California to offer abortion pill in 2023

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DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) -- Abortion pills will soon be available at all 34 public colleges across California for those who want them.

“I think it’s a great idea,” University of California, Davis student Areeba Zaman told FOX40.

Access to the pill is expected to start January 2023 at all University of California and California State University health centers. The centers will be required to provide access to the abortion medication for students who want it.

“Being able to refer to your school as a resource for that sort of thing is very helpful,” student Andrea Garcia said.

The new law, Senate Bill 24, will offer the pill to students within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy for free. It will be given in two doses, which are taken hours apart.

“It’s a public campus, so I guess I think it’s fine. If it’s a private thing, it’d be different,” student Olivia Gallindo said.

Some students at UC Davis said it will make abortion services more accessible especially for those who live miles away from an off-campus facility.

“It gives students more option because I think it is harder to go to and find a health provider. And if we have that on campus, then I think it’s better,” student Ali Zaman said.

While many students support the idea, others say it’s sending the wrong message.

“I believe it belongs in the proper hands, a little more monitored and not as easily accessible,” student Max Gomas said.

California Family Council Director Greg Burt said there’s no reason for public colleges to offer the abortion pill. He said with health clinics close to the college campus, it raises the question of why universities are going to be involved in abortions.

“They pretend that this is just like taking aspirin, but that’s just not true. You’re actually forcing a woman to have a miscarriage. It's not a natural process,” Burt said.

In 2017, a student group installed vending machines at UC Davis that dispensed contraception like condoms and pregnancy tests, even morning-after pills.

Some students said that type of contraception also doesn’t belong on school campuses.

“Protection I can handle. Pills and abortion accessibility right next, 5 feet away from me in my classroom, I can’t get behind that," Gomas said.

Both UC and CSU school systems say the law will enhance student access to medication abortion and they are already working on meeting the funding requirements for the program.

A spokesperson for the University of California sent FOX40 a statement on SB 24, which read in part:

The University of California believes students should have access to affordable and convenient reproductive health care of their choosing. UC student health centers currently provide students with access to comprehensive reproductive health services, and this new law will further enhance access to medication abortion by providing these services on-site.

Toni Molle, director of public affairs for CSU's Office of the Chancellor, also sent a statement:

The health and well-being of California State University students is a priority for the university and we appreciate the intent of any lawmakers who share that same priority. As we are still at least three years from the implementation date of SB 24, the Chancellor’s Office will work with campuses making sure everything is in compliance before January 1, 2023.

Each student health center will receive a grant of up to $200,000 with the rest of the money coming from private donors.

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