SB 320 (Leyva) would require all public higher education institutions with student health centers to provide medication abortion for students.
AAP Positional Letter
January 4, 2018
The Honorable Benjamin Allen
Chair of the Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2083
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SUPPORT SB 320 (Leyva) – College Student Right to Access Act
Dear Senator Allen,
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support your proposed legislation Senate Bill 320. This bill will increase access to reproductive health services for students at public universities by providing medication abortion on campus at student health centers.
Currently, none of the student health care centers at California’s public universities provide medication abortion services, despite how clinically simple the service is to offer. Students seeking this basic reproductive health care must travel off campus to access abortion care – often with serious logistical and financial barriers. Students at California’s public universities face several additional barriers to obtaining an abortion. According to recent studies at UCSF, over half (51%) of students across the UC and CSU systems are low-income (defined as qualifying for a Pell Grant), 21% of CSU students are food insecure and 9% suffer housing displacement such as homelessness, and 42% of UC students experience low or very low food security.
For those students, paying out-of-pocket at a clinic, securing reliable transportation, missing school and work to determine their options and get to the clinic are significant burdens.
Moreover, after a student identifies a clinic they wait an average of a week for an appointment at the closest clinic to campus. Delaying abortion due to appointment availability may make a student ineligible for medication abortion, may increase the cost of the procedure, and may increase the risk of side effects or complications.
In the interest of the health and well-being of California’s young women, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California strongly supports SB 320. We thank you for your leadership on behalf of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senator Connie Leyva and Members and Committee Staff, Senate Education Committee