California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Friday requiring that public universities provide medication abortion on campus.
"After three years of working to expand access to medication abortion at our public universities, I am thrilled that Governor Newsom rejected the misguided paths that other states have taken in limiting access to abortion care," state Sen. Connie Leyva, who wrote the bill, said in a statement. "Abortion is a protected right, and it is important that everyone -- including college students -- have access to that right, if they so choose."
The College Student Right to Access Act requires that public colleges in California -- the University of California and California State University systems -- that have student health centers on campus also make available medication abortion.
The bill says abortion services will be administered by trained medical professionals at the health centers.
Medication abortion involves taking two pills -- mifepristone, which stops the production of progesterone, and misoprostol, which induces a miscarriage-like abortion -- over a 48-hour period. It is approved for use by the FDA up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.
Nearly a quarter of all abortions were medication abortions done at or before eight weeks' gestation in 2015, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are grateful to see the College Student Right to Access Act signed into law so students who are struggling to make ends meet will not be forced to choose between their academic and financial well-being and accessing an abortion," Adiba Khan, co-founder of Berkeley Students United for Reproductive Justice, said in a statement.
The California Legislature had passed this bill in 2018, but former California governor Jerry Brown didn't sign it, effectively vetoing it. After the Legislature passed it again this September, Newsom signed it within the 30-day time limit.