A bill before the Massachusetts legislature would make public universities in the state complicit in the deaths of hundreds of preborn children each year — on the taxpayers’ dime. H2399/S1470, introduced in the House on March 29 by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Sen. Jason Lewis, would establish “a separate fund to be known as the Public University Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund… for the purpose of medical abortion readiness.”
The fund would cover costs of abortion pills, program administration, and more. While the bill appears to be about establishing a revenue stream, its actual effects would be much further reaching, as all 13 public university campuses would consequently be mandated to either provide the abortion pill or refer students to abortion providers.
Funding abortions on the taxpayers’ dime
According to the bill, funds for the bill would come from “appropriations or other money authorized by the general court” as well as “funds from non-state entities, including, but not limited to gifts, grants and donations from private entities and local and federal government agencies.”
Interestingly, excess monies from the program would not be credited back to the state at the end of the year. Funding campus chemical abortions would not be cheap, as the bill stipulates provision of “a grant of no less than $200,000 to each public university health center to pay for the cost, both direct and indirect, of medical abortion [abortion pill] readiness.”
The department of public health would be required to submit a yearly report of how many public university health centers were currently in operation, how many chemical abortions each one reported, how funds were disbursed to each recipient, and how each recipient utilized the money.
“People who give birth while in college are less likely to graduate”
Smith College Women and Gender Professor as well as Ms. magazine contributor Carrie Baker testified in favor of the bill during the June 7 virtual joint hearing, citing her research finding that Massachusetts college women could be inconvenienced by having to travel as far as 42 miles away from campus to obtain abortion pills. Baker’s research estimates that 40-64 public university students obtain the abortion pill each month, amounting to 480-760 statewide annually. Baker said her research also suggests that “[p]eople who give birth while in college are less likely to graduate than those who do not and 89 percent of students say that having a child while in school would make it harder to achieve their goals.”
There was no mention from the bill’s sponsors of supporting both mothers and children by providing on-campus resources for pregnant and parenting students so that women do not feel they must choose between their babies and their dreams.
Is medication abortion really “a safe, effective non-surgical method”?
Baker opined, “Abortion using medication is a safe, effective non-surgical method of ending a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks that could easily be provided in university health centers, but it’s currently not available there.” These statements contradict the findings of research on abortion pill safety and effectiveness, including research as recent as March of 2021 which found that “6% of those who had telemed abortions made visits to emergency rooms or urgent care centers for reasons related to the abortion.”
A 2015 study found a four times higher rate of complications from the abortion pill when compared to first trimester surgical abortions. Abortion pill complications are suspected to be vastly underreported because “there is no federal mandate to report abortion-related complications across all 50 states,” and mifepristone — the first drug in the abortion pill protocol — has been connected to at least 24 fatalities and thousands of adverse effects.*
*Editor’s Note: The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex. As of December 31, 2018, there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal.
The adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient. A summary report of adverse events that reflects data through December 31, 2018 is here.”
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