Yesterday, the State Assembly passed SB 320, the bill to require chemical abortion medication to be distributed on all 31 campuses of California State University and University of California systems.
The bill was passed with a vote of 50-33. All but 2 of the Republicans, Brian Maienschein and Catherine Baker, voted against the bill. Seven Democrats declined to vote on the bill—this is significant, as failing to record a vote has the same effect as voting no. From the San Joaquin Valley, Frank Bigelow (R-Madera), Jim Patterson (R-Clovis and north Fresno), and Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) all voted no; Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) declined to vote. However, Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-south Fresno) voted yes.
SB 320 is bad legislation—so bad that not even proponents of legal abortion should support it. It forces taxpayers and CSU and UC students to pitch in for the cost of abortions, and doesn’t have a system in place to fund the program past 2022. The bill incredibly—and deliberately—does not prevent student tuition and taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions. It also puts our public universities on the hook for malpractice lawsuits arising from chemical abortion.
The bill purports to help students with abortion “access,” even though many CSU and UC campuses are located minutes away from nearby abortion clinics. Fresno State is 1.2 miles away from a Planned Parenthood office at Bullard and First.
We at Right to Life have hopes that Governor Brown will veto this bill. While he is pro-choice, the governor has vetoed bad abortion legislation in the past—just last year, he vetoed AB 569, which would have imposed various restrictions on pro-life, religious employers. The fact that this bill has gone through the Legislature over various objections by the CSU and UC administration, and the fact that several Democrats in the Assembly were unwilling to vote for it, demonstrate how poorly-thought-out this bill is, and give Brown the necessary justification to block its passage.
We at Right to Life of Central California will represent all of you in fighting against this legislation and urging a veto. Thank you for standing for the cause of life.