California Tries Again To Make Medication Abortions Available At Its Colleges

Jessy Rosales, who graduated from University of California-Riverside last year, is an activist who had difficulty getting an abortion as a student. (April Dembosky/KQED)

When Jessy Rosales was a sophomore at the University of California-Riverside, she had a boyfriend and was taking birth control pills. Then, out of nowhere, she started feeling sick.

“I just thought it was the stomach flu,” she said. “It turns out I was pregnant.”

Rosales was sure she was not ready to have a baby. She wanted a medication abortion that would involve taking one pill at a health clinic, and a second one at home a day or two later to induce a miscarriage.

“I just wanted the intimacy of dealing with it on my own, in the privacy of my own home,” she said. “And being able to cry if I wanted to cry or just being able to curl up in my bed right away.”

Public university health centers in California do not perform abortions. But state lawmakers are expected to pass a bill in the coming weeks that would require health centers at all 32 state campuses to provide medication abortions. If the bill becomes law, it would be the first of its kind in the nation.

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