California will soon require public universities to offer on-campus abortions

Zoe Murray was just 20-years-old when she got pregnant as a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she knew she wanted an abortion.

Murray then went to her student health center where she went for most of her health problems.

But the nurses were not able to help her.

Murray then ended up having to get a ride to the nearest abortion clinic, where she had the procedure. But the entire experience left her feeling “frustrated and actually really lonely.”

“The nurse that helped me at my student health center just kind of — she felt really helpless too. She just gave me a piece of paper with some resources on it and just explained to me, ‘This is the procedure,’” Murray shared, recalling the experience three years later. “My university wasn’t there for me when I needed it.”

Image via Marcy Sanchez

“I found nothing but silence and stigma and a lack of community,” she said.

Now, thanks to years of activism by students like Murray, the California state legislature approved a bill just this month requiring that all 32 campuses in the University of California as well as California State University offer abortion-inducing pills to students who request them by 2023.

The program would make medication abortions available to the 760,000-or so students enrolled on public universities.

That being said, the universities will not be required to offer surgical abortions.

According to advocates of the program, California students can actually get abortions without having to make an long off campus journey.

“It’s about access. Just because you have a constitutional right, if you don’t have access to that constitutional right, then it’s really no right at all,” Sen. Connie Levya, said California state Democrat as well as the main sponsor of the bill. “I’m tired of women being shamed.”