By Hector Pimienta
On October 11, 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 24. Under this bill, all 34 universities within the University of California and California State University systems will be required to supply the abortion pill RU-486 on campus for students. Universities will have until January 2023 to comply or face legal action. At first glance, it seems like it would be a great idea because the availability of this medication would be beneficial for students who have no health insurance outside of the university. According to Governor Newsom in an October 2019 Yahoo article: “We’re removing barriers to reproductive health, increasing access on college campuses and using technology to modernize how patients interact with providers” (De Sanctis, 2019 Oct 15). However, on closer analysis, this is a bad decision that will endanger the lives of students and increase liability for universities. Medication such as RU-486, the abortion pill, shouldn’t be handed out like ibuprofen as it must be handled with strict medical supervision as fatal side effects such as ectopic pregnancy or sepsis can occur according to the Food and Drug Administration’s official website. In addition, SB 24 will be a legal nightmare for the university system as they will have to deal with increased liability due to the potential of students suffering from serious complications or death after being given RU-486. Then there is the fact that universities don’t have the necessary surgical facilities and emergency equipment required in the event a student experiences life-threatening complications such as extensive bleeding or infections. University health centers are not the best place to provide chemical abortion drugs as university health staff are only able to deal with common ailments like the cold and flu. When it comes to serious medical procedures such as this, the state shouldn’t force universities to supply RU-486 as it creates an unnecessary legal and financial burden that faculty and students can’t afford to carry.