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California bill could mandate public universities to provide abo - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

California bill could mandate public universities to provide abortion pills

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A proposal to require California's public universities to offer abortion medication on campus passed the state Senate Wednesday.

"I think Planned Parenthood is amazing but I think having it on campus and having it easily accessible would also be amazing," said Natalie Fink, a Cal Poly student.

If SB 320 succeeds, California would become the first state in the country to require many public universities to offer abortion medication and counseling on campus.

The bill does not apply to surgical abortions but would mandate UC & CSU health clinics to offer an abortion pill which can be taken up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.

"As a woman myself, I feel very offended that they would even think that that is a necessity to have on campus," said Margaret Caligaris. She's a member of a pro-life organization called Cal Poly Students for Life.

"We are a very conservative group, and to say that we need to pay to have these abortions offered on campus is a huge overstepping," said Caligaris. 

CSU and UC health clinics currently refer students to outside providers for pregnancy services. Supporters of the bill say forcing students to leave campus can cause financial and emotional problems.

"A lot of girls can benefit from this because it's really hard to talk to your parents and get this kind of help outside of a college campus," said Arran Chahal, a junior at Cal Poly.

Cal Poly has not taken a formal stance on the matter and referred KSBY to a comment from the CSU Chancellor's Office:

"The CSU is working with the author of SB 320. Even though it is a pill, the administration of the medication still requires a level of expertise our health center staff may not have."

While some students celebrate the bill's advance, others are preparing to protest.

"There are a lot of young people who are in the same boat as I am, and we will definitely fight this to the end," said Caligaris.

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