Smith College professor wants public universities to provide on-campus abortion pills
One professor wrote an article arguing that public universities should provide abortion pills to students on campus.
Smith College Women and Gender Studies Professor Carrie N. Baker wrote an op-ed for the Daily Hampshire Gazette arguing that public university health centers should provide abortion pills to students.
In the piece titled, “Increasing Gender Equity Through Abortion Pills on Campus,” Baker argues that ‘forcing’ students to leave campus to obtain an abortion pill is unfair.
“The burdens caused by forcing students off-campus to obtain abortion pills fall disproportionately on women, transgender and gender non-conforming students, lower-income students, students of color, and those with other family or work responsibilities that place demands on their time and finances,” Baker says.
“To travel to the clinic, obtain the health care they need, and travel home by bus takes almost a full day — time few students have to spare between classes, jobs, and other activities,” Baker writes. “And it’s unnecessary because abortion pills are safe to use, simple to administer, and could be easily offered on campus.”
Earlier this year, Massachusetts lawmakers Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D) and Sen. Jason Lewis (D) introduced a bill that would ensure “safe” and “affordable” abortion pills to Massachusetts students attending public universities.
In the proposed bill, public university health centers would be granted $200,000 to “pay for the cost, both direct and indirect, of medical abortion readiness.”
Many student health centers at public universities in the state, including UMass Amherst, already offer gynecological exams, birth control, and pregnancy counseling.
Baker goes on to say that students who have to ‘hunt’ for abortion services are “at an increased risk of reaching out to one of the many anti-abortion centers masquerading as reproductive health clinics that target college students.”
In 2023, campuses in the University of California and California State University systems will be required by law to stock the abortion pill. However, $10 million in private donations are necessary before the law can take effect.
A spokesperson for Smith College referred Campus Reform to the college's policy on academic freedom but refused to comment further.
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