On the final leg of its approval, Senator Connie Leyva’s college chemical abortion bill has hit a snag. California’s Department of Finance, overseen by Governor Gavin Newsom, now opposes SB 24. In a strongly worded bill analysis, the agency argued that a lack of financing, needed expertise, and a workable medical billing system make the proposal unworkable.
“Finally, Governor Newsom’s financial experts are acknowledging what we’ve known for years,” said California Family Council President Jonathan Keller. “Besides being dangerous for young mothers and deadly to their babies, SB 24 is a fiscal disaster. California college health centers should not be bullied into offering abortions on campus.”
In their two-page bill analysis, the California Department of Finance commended the “laudable goal” of giving students easier access to chemical abortion, but the agency still opposed it for three main reasons. First, the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, charged with administering the program’s implementation with four employees, did not have the technical expertise to develop or run a multi-million dollar project of this “size, scope, or content.” Secondly, while the bill “assumes private funding” would support start-up costs, the university and the state’s general fund would be ultimately responsible for cost over-runs and ongoing costs starting in 2023.
Lastly, the bill requires UC and CSU health centers to create a costly medical billing system. University health centers primarily “offer triage and preventative services,” that are supported by student fees, so insurance billing isn’t necessary. If students request an abortion, they are referred to local abortion clinics.
SB 24 is now in the hands of the Assembly Appropriation Committee Chair Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. At the end of next week, she will announce if the bill will make it out of her committee.