Republican lawmakers Wednesday will introduce a bill prohibiting colleges from receiving federal funding if they provide abortion drugs to students, National Review reported.
The legislation would forbid federal money from either directly or indirectly funding “any institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with any school-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortions to students of the institution or to employees of the institution or site,” according to a copy of the draft bill obtained exclusively by the news outlet.
The GOP-led legislation was crafted in response to a California law that requires every public university in the state to provide chemical-abortion pills to "pregnant persons." First enacted in 2019, the law will take effect in 2023.
Lead sponsors Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Reps. Mary Miller, R-Ill., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, will introduce The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021.
"Chemical abortions are the new frontier," Miller tweeted Wednesday while sharing news of the National Review story. "COVID-19 made these pills available by mail, and the abortion industry wants these provisions to stay. I will be joining so many in the pro-life movement in a press conference this morning to introduce this legislation. Don't miss it."
Roy's office confirmed to the National Review that providing either chemical abortions or surgical abortions on campus would violate the law.
Chemical-abortion drugs are the primary method for abortions in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, the National Review said.
The bill would require institutions of higher education that host a health clinic to send an annual report to the Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services, "certifying that no such site provides abortion drugs or abortions" to students or employees. If not, the institution would not be eligible for federal funding.
The National Review reported the bill had more than 50 cosponsors in the House and several Republican senators, including Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
The bill emerged out of concern that other blue states will follow California’s lead. The state senator who sponsored California’s law said she hoped it would start a nationwide movement to make chemical abortions more widely available on campuses.
Lawmakers in New York also have advanced legislation to require state schools to provide chemical abortions at on-campus clinics. However, Democrats seem to be divided over whether it's a prudent policy idea to compel public universities and colleges to provide abortions, the National Review reported.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., signed the California bill after taking office in 2019.
"For too long the abortion industry has been taking advantage of vulnerable women, and now, blue states like California are beginning to require campus clinics to provide chemical abortions on demand," Daines told National Review. "These do-it-yourself abortions put young women in dangerous situations that they are oftentimes forced to deal with alone in their dorm room."
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration and abortion providers engaged in a lengthy battle after abortion-rights activists went to court to fight against Food and Drug Administration safety standards requiring women to meet with a doctor in person before obtaining the first of two abortion drugs.
"Chemical abortions are the future the abortion issue is lobbying for, and I know that as a mother of five daughters, my girls and their peers are the most vulnerable to the chemical-abortion industry," Miller told National Review. "They exploit young women by offering a 'safe, easy, and near-painless way' to get an abortion.
"The reality is: Women and girls with these drugs are left to deal with the consequences and severe potential side effects all on their own."
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