California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has vetoed a bill that would have required public universities to supply abortion pills to pregnant students who requested them. In the surprising move, Brown argued it just isn’t necessary for the health centres at either California State University or the University of California to provide mifepristone, given abortion clinics are not far away from the public campuses. “The average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” he wrote in a statement. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”
State Rep. Connie Leyva (D), who sponsored the legislation, said she plans to reintroduce the bill next session.” Students at UC Berkeley began pushing for the abortion legislation after getting their campus to provide abortifacients failed in 2016. It’s customary for on-campus health centres to decline abortion services and instead refer students to off-campus clinics. The Women’s Foundation of California and the Tara Health Foundation, reportedly pledged grants of $200,000 to both the UC and CSU campuses, if Brown had OK’d the bill. The money would have been used to train staff and to pay for after-hours services.
And Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins described the governor’s decision as a “win” for the pro-life cause, but cautioned the fight is “not over.” “This veto is a victory for all women, students, and taxpayers in California,” she said, noting her organization is “proud to have worked alongside other pro-life groups in California to protect students from the dangerous RU-486 abortion drug.” “The pro-life generation will continue to fight against all efforts to bring dangerous abortion drugs to college campuses,” Hawkins added.