SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Sunday that would have mandated that public universities in the state offer abortion-inducing “medication” through campus student health centers starting in 2022.
The bill, S.B. 320, was “not necessary,” Brown said in his veto message signed Sept. 30, as abortion services are already “widely available” off campus. Governor Brown is a public supporter of abortion rights.
Student health centers at California’s public universities do not provide abortions, but they do provide referrals to abortion facilities. However, many of these centers do distribute the “morning-after pill,” which can block fertilization or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a uterus.
Kathleen Buckley Domingo, senior director of the Office of Life, Justice & Peace for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said that she was “grateful” Brown vetoed the bill.
“He recognized that this bill was unnecessary for California and did not empower our college women, but only offered more abortion for our state,” said Domingo.
Instead, Domingo said she hoped the state would pass bills to assist college students who are already parents. Such legislation would “ensure women’s Title IX protections for pregnancy are known and understood,” and she said that aid should “make child care and family housing for student mothers and fathers readily available and accessible for California women.”
Her comments were echoed by Andy Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, who said: “Hopefully next session we can convince legislators to pass a bill that students and universities really need, one that provides financial support for students with children.”
Rivas said he was not surprised by the veto and said that students “were not pushing for passage” of the bill, and universities “did not want the responsibility of providing abortion pills to students.”
Pro-life advocates also applauded Brown’s move. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee-turned-pro-life advocate, said that the veto was a “huge victory for not only the pro-life movement in California, but the students at these universities,” as well.
“These drugs are dangerous and are often not discussed truthfully with women who decide to take them,” Johnson told CNA.
“I took these same drugs to end one of my pregnancies, and I thought I was dying. I was in a bathtub full of blood, but the abortion clinic was unfazed by my reaction: It happens often but is hardly ever disclosed.”
Johnson’s group, And Then There Were None, provides assistance to abortion-industry employees who are looking to leave their jobs.
Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, agreed with Brown’s description of the bill as unnecessary and said that the governor’s veto had “made California safer for women and college campuses safer for their unborn children.”
“Gov. Brown recognized that in a state where Medicaid already pays for elective abortions, there is no issue of access, since, as he said yesterday, ‘the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from 5 to 7 miles, not an unreasonable distance,’” said Foster.
Foster also pointed out that “college health clinics are not equipped to handle the very serious risks of chemical abortion drugs,” which can include bleeding and infection.