Exciting day at the Capitol as representatives from California Alliance of Pregnancy Care stand to oppose SB 320, a bill that if passed would require all public colleges to provide the abortion pill at campus clinics. Lord willing, this will be the first of many opportunities CAPC has to positively influence state law and lawmakers in California.

CAPC Board members Tricia Lewis and Marie Leatherby with witness, Tanya Flores.

The following is the testimony given from Tanya Flores to the Appropriations Committee:

Good morning Chair Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee,

We all have a Reproductive Story of how we envision our future; no children, one or two children or more. We’ve thought about this story throughout our life. There are times when a woman [student] is faced with an unintended pregnancy (unwanted or mistimed) and it doesn’t match her reproductive plan. In response, there is surprise and to many, shock. Whether we are for or against abortion, it doesn’t change the fact that life is not the same after a pregnancy, either wanted or unwanted.

An abortion choice does not erase or undo an unintended pregnancy from our heart and mind, but instead leaves us to face grief and loss, either immediately or in the future. And abortion does not guarantee anything.

A Psychology Today article states we all encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion (pressure, nervousness, despair, confusion…). In these situations, how we chose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive and reactive. Most would agree when we are in reactionary stress, we need support to “slow down” and consider all options available.

I believe on-campus abortion access will increase reactive decisions out of negative emotions.

I have had 2 unintended pregnancies (one at 16 and the other at 19 while in college), I would describe my first reactions were negative, and when confronted with these crisis situations, my abortions were made in a state of reactive stress. Over the last 12 years I have helped many women through after abortion care and every woman faced a crisis before her decision and like me, all of us were left changed by our abortion decision and wished we had more support and options during our decision-making process.

Please consider a much greater benefit to fiscal spending. If colleges and universities offered a safe and open environment for pregnant students with the resources they need such as flex-schedules, housing, transportation, on-campus childcare, pre-natal care and other expenses, students would have what they need when they make a healthy, proactive choice to adapt to their new reproductive story. This bill states that students seeking early pregnancy termination face prohibitively expensive travel, and financial and time burdens impacting academic performance and mental health. Please consider those same issues for pregnant mothers who want to keep their baby and remain in college after giving birth.