TESTIMONY FOR KRISTAN HAWKINS OPPOSING CALIFORNIA’S SB 24
BEFORE STATE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:
April 24, 2019, Sacramento, CA
I want to thank Members of the Senate Education Committee for inviting me today to address concerns with SB-24, a bill designed to achieve a radical change — transforming the life-affirming purposes of on-campus health centers into abortion vendors by requiring the distribution of the life-ending, RU-486, chemical abortion regime to students.
My name is Kristan Hawkins, and I am president of Students for Life of America. We currently serve more than 1,200 Students for Life groups on college, university and some high school campuses in all 50 states, including more than 90 right here in California. Daily, my staff and our student volunteers, advocate against the violence of abortion and for women and children on campus to have real choices. As we represent the majority of our generation who rejects the destruction abortion brings, we envision a nation where no student is ever forced to choose between their child and their education. A nation where a student can receive the support they need to succeed for themselves and their family, such as through enforcement of Title IX protections, for example.
It is on behalf of students that I come before this committee today asking for a no vote on this measure that will create a massive distraction from the purpose of our universities, to educate the future professionals and leaders of this state and our nation.
By design, SB 24 will create chaos, increased legal liability for schools, and potential loss of student life, as well as establish a potentially unconstitutional program, violating the conscience rights of both students and university health center personnel.
Appropriate analysis of the liability certain to come to California campuses with the passage of SB 24, has yet to be made. The costs of re-tooling campus health centers into abortion vendors, including preparing for worst-case scenarios of young women hemorrhaging, bleeding out in their dorm rooms or on their communal bathroom toilet, have yet to be totaled. Rather than being a simple drug handed out for a headache remedy, the distribution of RU-486 must handled with strict supervision as conditions like an ectopic pregnancy or an undetermined, later term pregnancy can be fatal, and must be determined by a doctors examination prior to consumption.
This month, the FDA updated the adverse impacts of the chemical cocktail to be distributed, noting, “As of December 31, 2018, there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with RU-486 since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (sepsis), including some that were fatal…” To date, the report documents nearly 4,200 reported adverse effects, including hospitalization and other serious complications.
When the abortion drug cocktail fails as it does about 10 percent of the time, surgical abortion is the next step. Are Californians interested in outfitting campus health centers into surgical abortion facilities with compensated personnel and extensive emergency equipment?
Unlike surgical abortion that is done under patient sedation and where the patient is monitored immediately following the dismemberment of the child within her, a RU-486 abortion happens when she is alone in her dorm room or community bathroom. Any one who has experienced a miscarriage will understand, the pain is unbearable at times. But instead of rushing to the Emergency Room for support and pain medication, she is told to remain where she is and when the bleeding becomes too heavy to just sit on the toilet, not look down and flush. The FDA has even noted this type of abortion is extremely painful and stretching over days. They recently wrote, “In some cases very heavy vaginal bleeding will need to be stopped by a surgical procedure.”
Are California’s schools prepared to handle the repercussions of students experiencing possibly life-ending bleeding and infections, caused by the abortion pills the school is providing?
And given that the both UC and CSU health programs are funded through student fees, it is not just possible but likely students will ultimately be paying for their classmates’ abortions.
Further, no provision has been made in the proposal to protect the conscience rights of students or health center personnel, who don’t want to fund or support toilet seat abortions, ending human life on college and university campuses. This oversight sets up California’s educational system for lawsuits and opposition, internally and externally.
Considering the expensive loss that California recently suffered in NIFLA v. Becerra that put a halt to the abortion industry’s campaign to force pro-life advocates within this state to act as a sales team for abortion, one presumes that a Supreme Court reluctant to force speech on abortion would be equally reluctant to force people to pay for and participate in these chemical abortions on campuses.
Yet, this controversial bill is being forced forward despite the fact that the availability of abortion near campuses is well documented, as the pro-choice, former Governor of California, Jerry Brown, noted when he vetoed last year’s attempt to push this onto college and university campuses.
To be clear, SB 24 represents a radical change, and not a benign shift, as some might argue.
Those who advocate for abortion often say that many abortions take place without lasting injury, but that is not the point, but is something that I would love to discuss at a future hearing. We know that some women will experience severe injury and loss of life. There is no educational reason to expose California schools and students to such risk and liability at taxpayer and student expense, especially in light of other, available alternatives.
To protect the educational environment, avoid costly liability and legal costs, and affirm student health centers’ goal of doing no harm to those they serve, I’m asking California legislators to say no to toilet bowl abortions. As a dorm room and communal bathroom toilet is no place to demonstrate the power of women’s rights/exercise women’s rights. Today, I ask of you to reject the risky, costly, and dangerous proposal that is SB 24.