Students may be able to receive medical abortions via medication within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy at Long Beach State following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of Senate Bill 24 into law Oct. 11.
“This bill would express findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to the availability of abortion by medication techniques at on-campus student health centers at public postsecondary educational institutions in the state,” the bill states.
California State University and University of California student health service programs have until Jan. 1, 2023 to comply with the law to provide abortion resources.
A medical abortion includes the ingestion of two medications, according to Planned Parenthood. The first, called mifepristone, blocks the body’s production of progesterone and stops all fetal development. The second, misoprostol, induces a miscarriage-like experience that causes the uterus to expel the fetus.
SHS has not been providing medical abortions because it has local partners that provide the service, according to Angela Girard, interim co-director of Student Health Services.
SHS has been hesitant to move forward with providing the service.
“We weren’t moving forward because we didn’t know if [Newsom would] sign it,” Girard said.
Girard is concerned with the potential of the public’s reaction to the inaction of the policy.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen quietly,” Girard said. “There’s still a lot to iron out.”
According to Girard, SHS is considering when and how to begin providing this service.
Abortion has been a contested topic at CSULB for several years. Dating back to the early 2000s, the Genocide Awareness Project has made several appearances. The anti-abortion group displays enlarged images of aborted fetuses and draws comparisons between the Holocaust and abortions on large banners to express its views against abortion, and hope to convince students to feel the same.
Most recently, the group made an appearance in early October, creating distress for many and leading to a demand for an apology to be made to students during an Associated Students Inc. meeting later that week, as reported by the Daily Forty-Niner.
For now, students can purchase Plan B at the SHS pharmacy for $23 per pill. Although the “morning after” pill is not an alternative to medical abortion, it helps to prevent conception within the first 72-hours following unprotected sex.