Students attending California universities may soon be able to get the school to terminate their pregnancies thanks to a student-written bill that would require abortion services at all four-year public universities in the state. Adiba Khan is the author of SB 320, and she claims the reason for the resolution came from hearing female students complain about the difficulties of trying to obtain abortions. These trials consist of anything from lack of insurance and ability to pay for the procedures to transportation issues to clinics that provide medical abortions.
In January, the Senate Education Committee met to discuss SB 320 and hear comments from both sides of the issue. Democratic Senator Connie Leyva is heading up the bill and said that according to a UC San Francisco Advancing Newsstand reproductive health study, “every month up to 519 students at the 34 UC and CSU campuses seek medication abortions at offsite healthcare facilities.”
Earlier this week, approximately 40 students from 14 different state universities traveled to Sacramento to rally at the Capitol in favor of the abortion bill. While the reason for the bill, supposedly, is to provide easy access for abortions to the underprivileged and others who may find difficulties getting the procedure, one of its biggest – and most bogus – claims is that having medication abortions on campus would improve women’s academics.
How would that improve any woman’s educational experience? Let’s take a closer look at what a female student would likely go through with a medication abortion.
Pain, Risks and Emotional Distress
A medication abortion can only be performed up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. That’s three months along, about one-third of a full-term pregnancy. The procedure is not painless, despite what many may assume based on the fact that all they have to do is take a few pills. That’s the easy part; it’s what comes after that is so traumatizing.
Before the procedure can be performed, a medical examination must take place to make sure the patient is viable for a medication abortion. Women with asthma, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, and a host of other medical issues will not be able to participate.Human fetus 10-weeks
Mifepristone is given to the female on the first office visit. This drug “blocks progesterone from the uterine lining, causing the lining to break down, preventing the ability to continue a pregnancy.” Within the next 36 to 72 hours Misoprostol tablets must be taken to cause the uterus to contract and “expel” the fetus. Sound pleasant and painless?
The contractions could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days! Then a follow-up visit is required to make sure everything was removed correctly, and that nothing was left behind to cause infection. “The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 8-10% of the time with the potential of requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.”
Now, consider that this female student lives in a dorm room or some other shared facility. Without going into details, we can see the ramifications of this situation. The pain, embarrassment, lack of privacy, and so on.
We’ve only touched on the physical problems associated with medication abortions; what about the emotional distress? A miscarriage carries a heavy burden and sadness on women and couples that lose a baby. But what about a female that knowingly, forcibly, intentionally ends the life of her unborn child? Guilt is a heavy cross to bear and is something that will likely haunt these women for the rest of their lives.
How does any of this improve the educational experience for female students?
Opponents of SB 320 claim one of the biggest issues they have with the proposed bill is that it does not offer any other options or resources. It claims to be about reproductive care, but only provides for the termination of pregnancy as the sole choice. Pro-life supporters suggest other alternatives to help students succeed in their education while also parenting.
When there are, on average, 519 students each month seeking out medication abortions, shouldn’t we put more resources towards preventing unwanted pregnancies instead of making it easier to “erase” such a mistake?
SB 320 is a danger to universities and its students. Why should ending a pregnancy be made easier? Shouldn’t the appropriate measure be to make it more difficult, so that men and women might take a responsible adult approach and use protection in the first place? We are making it so that college kids aren’t afraid to take the risks because a few pills can take care of everything. A very dangerous game indeed.