A bill working its way through the New York state Legislature would require all public colleges and universities in the state to make abortion medication available to students — paid for with taxpayer funds, according to LifeSiteNews.
Assembly bill 8743 “Requires SUNY to offer abortion by medication techniques at all on-campus student health centers at colleges or universities within the SUNY system and creates a fund to help finance the implementation of offering such services at SUNY on-campus student health centers.”
The bill was authored by Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, who said his goal is to make abortion more accessible with students who may not have the time or ability to get to a clinic.
“College students’ often busy schedules, lack of transportation options, and low-incomes present barriers to accessing abortion healthcare,” Epstein wrote in justifying the bill. “Students who want to end an unintended pregnancy have to travel to off-campus providers, potentially missing classes and disrupting their studies.”
The bill would create the Public Colleges Student Health Center Abortion By Medication Fund, which would receive money both from taxpayers and private entities and citizens who choose to contribute.
“Monies within the public college student health center abortion by medication fund shall be made available to the commissioner of health for payment of any and all costs and expenditures incurred in performing any of the work required in making abortion by medication techniques available at public college student health centers within the state,” the bill says.
Critics of the bill say that it creates potentially dangerous situations for women on college campuses who might take the pill without proper medical supervision, and it’s also not the best way to support students dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
“What it doesn’t help finance are campus child care centers, any kind of desperately needed prenatal care,” said Michele Sterlace-Accorsi, executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York. “These are the impediments that interfere with women’s ability to carry unplanned pregnancies to term, to choose life for their children and also have a career.”