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Proposed bill would require SUNY schools to provide abortion pills on campuses

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Under a proposed new law, State University of New York schools would be required to provide access to medication abortion at all on-campus student health centers. The services would be paid for with a combination of public and private funds managed by the comptroller, the SUNY chancellor, and the health commissioner.

SUNY health centers already offer women gynecological exams, breast exams, birth control, and pregnancy counseling, but abortion pills would be new.

CompassCare pregnancy services is a pro-life agency that provides care for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. The CEO, Jim Harden, said this bill isn’t well thought out.

“You’re not providing actual patient care in a student health environment with a doctor-patient relationship ongoing. There’s follow up that’s required, there’s monitoring that’s required, and all of this is extracted from the woman’s experience on campus. It’s dangerous for her,” said Harden.

But Robin Chappelle Golston, the president of Planned Parenthood Empire Acts, said medication abortion is perfectly safe.

“I think that we’re looking at all of that in really making sure that if this is provided on campuses it is provided in a compassionate way and a quality way,” Golston said. She also said it’s important to expand care to women who might not otherwise have access.

“Across the state and especially in rural areas we do see barriers in terms of availability to transportation proximity to health centers and affordability of care.”

Michele Sterlace-Accorsi is the executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York. She said there should be more money going towards helping college-aged women avoid abortion.

“What it doesn’t help finance are campus child care centers, any kind of desperately needed pre-natal care; these are the impediments that interfere with women’s ability again to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term, to choose life for their children, and also have a career,” said Sterlace-Accorsi.

News 8 reached out to SUNY as well as the three local SUNY schools. They all told us they don’t comment on pending legislation.

California is the only state in the U.S. to require public universities to offer abortion pills at their health centers. The bill in New York State was introduced last week in the State Assembly.

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