Congressional Republicans introduced a bill that would prohibit federal funds from going to universities that provide chemical abortion pills to students.
Illinois Rep. Mary Miller, Texas Rep. Chip Roy, and Montana Sen. Steve Daines co-sponsored the legislation in response to a 2019 California bill requiring public universities to provide chemical abortion pills to students beginning in 2023. The California legislation became the first in the nation to require abortion medication on campuses and was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The bill applies to the 34 campuses in the University of California and California State University systems. According to NBC News, the law can only be implemented in 2023 if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it.
The Republican bill also aims to curb blue states from instituting similar laws on public universities in the future.
“[This bill aims] to prohibit the award of Federal funds to an institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with a student-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortion to students of the institution or to employees of the institution or site, and for other purposes,” the bill reads.
During a press conference introducing the bill, Daines called oral abortion pills “do-it-yourself abortions” that put young women, as well as unborn children, at risk. Daines placed the access to risky pills directly on blue states, such as California.
“For too long the abortion industry has been taking advantage of vulnerable women and now, blue states like California are beginning to require campus clinics to provide chemical abortions on demand,” Daines said. “These do-it-yourself abortions put young women in dangerous situations that they are oftentimes forced to deal with alone in their dorm room. This not only ends the life of an unborn child, it endangers the mother’s life as well. We cannot allow campus health centers to turn into abortion clinics.”
Chemical abortions have become increasingly more common among women in the past 20 years. In 2001, 5 percent of abortions were provided via pills. As of 2017, that number jumped to 39 percent.
Women who obtain chemical abortion pills must ingest two pills. The first is called Mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone, destabilizing the uterine wall and effectively starving the baby. The second pill, Misoprostol, is taken a few days later at home and causes contractions. A woman proceeds to expel the baby and deliver her aborted child at home.
Roy said that Congress must act to protect young women from the “dangers” of abortion pills.
“Congress has a duty to act, not just to protect innocent babies from abortion but to protect vulnerable women from the lies of the abortion industry and the extensive dangers of chemical abortions,” Roy said.
The bill has support from a slew of pro-life activist groups including Students for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony List Action, March for Life Action, Heritage Action, and more.