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California Students Will Soon Have Access to Abortion Medication


Medication for abortion will be available on all University of California and California State University campuses starting January 2023.

The availability of pharmaceutical abortions within the UC system varies from school to school, and none of the Cal State campuses now provide them. However, both university systems claim they are on track to implement a law passed in 2019 mandating that the medications be made available at their student health centers.

The latest update comes more than two years after the College Student Right to Access Act, commonly known as Senate Bill 24, was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom, making California the first state to mandate that public institutions provide abortion medication supplies through an on-campus source.

When medication abortions become available, over 6,000 students may seek them on UC and Cal State campuses annually, according to the study program by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.

Equity in Abortion Access

Abortions performed with medication are covered by the UC Student Health Insurance Plan, a requirement for enrollment.

All students in the Cal State system — but only those who opt out of UC’s insurance requirement — must pay for the prescriptions. 

Cal State and UC universities lacking medication abortion access, such as UC San Diego, UC Davis, and UC Riverside, will need to train clinicians and update material on websites so students are aware of the service’s availability by the January deadline. 

“If one part of the population is able to get pregnant, has to go through hoops and overcome barriers to terminate a pregnancy, and in trying to do that has to miss class, that’s kind of an equity issue,” UCSF OB-GYN, Josie Urbina, said. Everyone should have equal access to chances and be able to concentrate on their academics and other coursework without having to take time off, according to Urbina.

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