With the passing of Senate Bill 24 by the California Senate, Governor Gavin Newsom will now decide whether or not state universities in California will be required to provide abortion medication to students on campus.
A similar bill was approved by the legislature last September, but was vetoed by former Governor Jerry Brown. Brown, who is a public supporter of abortion, vetoed the bill saying it was was not necessary, as abortion services are already widely available off campus.
The bill would require all state universities to offer medical abortions during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy through the on-campus student health centers. While the bill passed by a 28-11 vote in the state legislature, there has been public push-back against the bill.
Bishop Jaime Soto, of the Diocese of Sacramento, stopped by Morning Air® this week to discuss SB 24, and why Catholics in California are fighting against it.
“This measure is really about politics, it’s about promoting a particular ideology on campuses,” Bishop Soto said. “The sad truth is that abortion is very accessible throughout the state of California. There was no need to provide that service on state university campuses. Absolutely no need. This is, in a certain sense, the proponents of abortion trying to inculcate their culture of death, the throwaway culture, into the minds and the hearts of the university students.”
Bishop Soto pointed out that it is not only Catholics who are raising concerns about the bill. There are those who, like former Governor Jerry Brown, are pro-choice but see the bill as causing more problems than it solves.
“Many of us see this as morally reprehensible and unnecessary,” Bishop Soto emphasized. But he also pointed out the financial and safety concerns many have about the bill.
“Many things are of concern about this bill. There’s no capacity in the state university system to be able to run this program. There’s a great risk that the program will be poorly managed. And besides putting the lives of innocent children at risk, it’s also putting at risk the lives of young women who will make use of that service on the university campuses.”
The language of the bill frames on-campus abortion as a benefit to women. But Bishop Soto pointed out that in a time of growing awareness of women’s vulnerability on campus, this bill would promote this culture of fear and predation rather than fight against it.
“Particularly here in California and on the college campuses there’s been a great deal of debate and a great deal has been brought to light in the #MeToo culture of the awareness of the vulnerability of women on campuses. And how often they are preyed upon and taken advantage of. Rather than try to deal with this rape culture that oftentimes can exist on many state university campuses, the state is providing abortions.
“The shame and the pain that women feel from being violated, offering abortion is only going to compound that, and it colludes with rape culture, then creating this throwaway culture.”
With abortion already so accessible throughout the state of California, Bishop Soto offered other alternatives that the state legislature could consider that would give women a true choice when it comes to giving their children life without sacrificing their own education, saying, “Rather than the state providing a broad range of health care services and maternity services to help young mothers to make better choices in life, this is about inculcating the throwaway culture in the minds and hearts of young people.”
Bishops throughout California are asking the faithful of their diocese to contact Gavin Newsom, with the hope that this bill can be stopped by his veto. Bishop Soto also asked for the prayers of those throughout the country, that the throwaway culture would not gain ground on college campuses in the state.
“Please remember to ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and pray that she, who is the patron of the unborn, will give us the wisdom and the courage to speak the truth and give to our government leaders the wisdom and the courage to act on that truth. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.”
Listen to the full conversation with Bishop Jaime Soto below: