August 28, 2018
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 320 (Leyva) – College Student Right to Access Act
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports legislation SB 320 (Leyva) to increase access to reproductive health services for students at public universities by providing medication abortion on campus at student health centers.
California ensures adequate funding for the provision of medication abortion through Medi-Cal and requires private insurance to ensure coverage. Yet, no student health care center at California’s public universities currently provides 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. 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). For those students, paying out-of-pocket at a clinic, securing reliable transportation, missing school and work to determine options and getting to a 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.
SB 320 (Leyva) will establish and provide $9.6 million dollars to a State Fund, the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, within the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, that will provide grants of $200,000 each to all 34 public university student health centers (SHC) to prepare to provide medication abortion and improve methods of pregnancy prevention. This Fund will ensure that all universities have the full funding and support necessary to begin providing medication abortion and improve family planning options in their on-campus clinics within three years as set by legislation.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide respectfully request you to sign SB 320 (Leyva) into law. We thank you for your leadership on behalf of children, youth, and families in California.
Melissa Ruiz, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Executive Board Member, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: The Honorable Senator Connie Leyva, Author; AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne