For Immediate Release: September 13, 2019
SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, the California state legislature voted to send the College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24), which would expand abortion care at California’s public university health centers, to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing. Gov. Newsom, who at the end of May issued a Proclamation on Reproductive Freedom, reaffirming California’s commitment to protecting Californians’ reproductive rights, previously signaled that SB 24 would have his support when it got to his desk. When signed, California will become the first state in the nation to expand abortion access to college campuses. The passage of SB 24 comes immediately on the heels of SB 464 passing the legislature, a bill that will save lives by addressing bias in reproductive health care and reducing California’s high rates of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women.
“California is again poised to lead the nation in standing with women and students, at a time when so many states are trying to roll back the clock on our civil and human rights,” said NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Hovis. “The passage of the College Student Right to Access Act sends a message to people across the country that advocates in California are fighting for their freedom to make critical decisions about pregnancy with the support of those they trust, free from political interference. NARAL Pro-Choice California and our hundreds of thousands of members applaud the legislature for championing the freedom of Californians to access safe, legal abortion care.”
Each month, hundreds of California’s public university students are unable to obtain abortion care on-campus, forcing them to travel long distances to access care — often with serious logistical and financial barriers — to the detriment of their academic success and well-being. Some students have had to pay exorbitant copays, had trouble finding a clinic that takes their insurance, and experienced several weeks of delays in getting the care they need. California has long affirmed the right to abortion care. The College Student Right to Access Act makes this right a reality for the hundreds of thousands of students who attend California’s public universities.
SB 24, which is sponsored by various reproductive freedom and justice organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice California, has gained widespread support from more than one hundred organizations and now moves to Gov. Newsom’s desk. NARAL Pro-Choice California members and pro-choice activists stepped up early in support of SB 24 and have worked tirelessly for its passage, through lobby days, phone calls, tabling, and gathering petition signatures. Back in May, sixty NARAL members traveled to the Capitol to voice their support for critical pieces of reproductive healthcare legislation, which included SB 24, SB 464 to address the state’s high rates of black maternal mortality, and SB 135 to expand access to paid family leave.
NARAL Pro-Choice California has paved the way for progressive, proactive campaigns and legislation that raise the bar for reproductive freedom and abortion access and level the playing field for women and families in all 50 states. NARAL will continue to fight to ensure reproductive freedom is a reality for everyone in California and across the country.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.3 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”