New GOP Bill Would Defund U.S. Colleges That Offer “Abortion Pills”

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Three Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would strip universities and colleges from receiving federal funding if they provide abortion pills to students on campus, according to local news station FOX5 Atlanta.

The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021 was introduced by lead sponsors Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Reps. Mary Miller (Ill.) and Chip Roy (Texas) in response to a California law that will require the state’s public universities to provide access to abortion pills on campus.

The new legislation would prohibit federal funding, both directly or indirectly, to “any institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with any school-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortions to students of the institution or to employees of the institution or site,” according to a draft of the legislation.

In order to remain eligible for federal funding, the institutions that have school-based health clinics would be required to submit an annual report to the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education, “certifying that no such site provides abortion drugs or abortions” to students or employees.

“This legislation is the next logical step in our quest to protect life,” Roy said during a press conference on Wednesday. “We shouldn’t be a country where we take women at their most vulnerable time, when they’re young, when they’ve gone off to college in this case we’re talking about, and essentially allow for there to be chemically induced abortion, for a do-it-yourself abortion.”

FOX5 reported on the California law, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2019:

The law, which doesn’t take effect until 2023, applies to 34 campuses in the University of California and California State University systems. But it will only be implemented if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it.

“Abortion is a protected right, and it is important that everyone — including college students — have access to that right, if they so choose,” Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva, the bill’s author, said when it was signed into law. 

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2018, arguing it was not necessary because abortion services were readily available off-campus. But after taking office in early 2019, Newsom said the law is needed “as other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom.”

Read the full report.

Image: (from left) Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT). (Screengrab / EWTN / YouTube)

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