In the past couple weeks, the California Legislature has seen an important shift in the process of SB 24 (a bill which would mandate that state Universities in California provide the abortion pill, RU-486, on their campuses).
Californians have persisted in their opposition to this dangerous bill, but they have been consistently ignored by the California Legislature as we have seen it pass through each committee. That was until the California Department of Finance OPPOSED SB 24. This was a pivotal shift. The vote on SB 24 was then scheduled for last Thursday, Sept. 5th – then postponed to Friday. The vote did not happen!
This sent the author of the bill, Senator Connie Leyva, into a panic knowing that the deadline for the Assembly Floor vote is this week. In response, she added amendments to the bill in a desperate attempt to keep forcing SB 24 through. One of these amendments was the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG), drastically increasing the state’s role in the implementation, financial management, and oversight of SB 24, essentially making them a supplemental public agency arm of Planned Parenthood… not to mention requiring them to become abortion vendors on the 34 campuses that SB 24 currently would affect.
The CCSWG promptly scheduled a public Board meeting Monday, September 9th, at 11am. It was no surprise that they made their best attempt to keep the meeting quiet, so that SB 24 opposers would not intervene (although they are required by law to open these meetings to the public). The meeting was held at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, with two public satellite meetings in Los Angeles, one of which is the Planned Parenthood – Los Angeles Medical headquarters.
In rapid response fashion, Pro-Life California and other opposers of SB 24 spread the word about the meetings and the significant changes to the bill and were able to rally groups at each of the locations. Representing the opposition to SB 24 in Sacramento was Students for Life Northern California Regional Coordinator, Nick Reynosa, 5 Students for Life campus leaders, and dozens of Pro-Life organization and community members.
At the remote location, Planned Parenthood LA, over half a dozen SB 24 opposers testified urging the CCSWG to revoke their support and involvement of this bill including Students for Life, Vox Vitae, 40 Days for Life, and Southern California Right to Life League representatives, along with several community members.
Over 30 individuals testified at each of the locations and spoke about their concerns of the physical dangers SB 24 would bring to our college students, the unpreparedness of the campuses, financial burdens of the implementation of the bill, and shared personal testimonies and experiences of women taking RU 486. A 4-minute audio clip of a mother’s experience after taking the abortion pill was also played to display just part of the side effects that women would be dealing with unexpectedly on their college campuses.
The opposers of SB 24 graciously pleaded with the Commission of the CCSWG, who were established to fight for and protect women in California, to revoke their support and involvement in SB 24, which would cause severe harm to many college-aged women in the state of California.
The Commission did not immediately move on their support or involvement in SB 24 or take any major action at the meeting. However, the opposition was heard loud and clear. The Assembly Floor vote deadline is this week and opposers of SB 24 will continue to display their opposition and urge supporters of SB24 to revoke their support of this incredibly dangerous bill.