Cal Poly Begins Offering State-Required Medication Abortion Services
Contact: Diego Abeloos
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Effective immediately, Cal Poly is offering medication abortion services to currently enrolled students, as required by California Senate Bill (SB) 24.
Also known as the College Student Right to Access Act, SB 24 was signed into law in October 2019 and requires University of California and California State University campus health centers to integrate medication abortion care into their on-site service delivery as of Jan. 1, 2023.
Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing (CH&W) is providing the medication up to 10 weeks of gestation through onsite providers in the university’s Health Center.
“Access to comprehensive healthcare is critical to improve health equity and eliminate health disparities,” said Tina Hadaway-Mellis, Cal Poly’s assistant vice president for Student Affairs, Health and Wellbeing. “The ability to offer a full range of services for students ensures we meet them where they are. Research demonstrates students prefer to receive care from their university health centers, as they offer affordable and convenient care delivered by professionals who understand the academic priorities students hold.”
Commonly referred to as “medical abortion” and “abortion pills,” medication abortion uses a combination of two prescribed medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. When taken, these medications end a pregnancy without the use of instruments. The treatment is affordable and is considered safe and highly effective for ending a pregnancy.
Students accessing medication abortion will also receive follow-up care and counseling to discuss all pregnancy and abortion options available to them as part of Campus Health and Wellbeing’s overall service structure.
Providing medication abortion services on campus is just one part of CH&W’s overarching focus on accessibility and reproductive justice, said Assistant Director of Wellbeing Kara Samaniego. To that end, she noted, CH&W’s reproductive services aren’t simply about providing choice but instead are focused on providing access and equity for all students.
“Our goal from the beginning of the planning process was to make sure this new service is accessible for any student who needs it, including making it affordable and affirming of our patients’ identities and lived experiences,” Samaniego said. “This is not just about abortion access. We also want to educate students about other sexual and reproductive health topics, such as the importance of comprehensive sex education, safe sex practices, violence prevention, parenting resources and more.”
To do this, CH&W will kick off a Reproductive Justice Education Series, open to all campus members. The first sessions of the series will start Feb. 8 during the College of Liberal Arts annual Teach In.
For additional information on medication abortion and other reproductive and sexual health services, visit the Cal Poly Health and Wellbeing website.
About Campus Health and Wellbeing
Campus Health and Wellbeing provides year-round care to Cal Poly students by appointment and on a walk-in basis. It offers ambulatory care, lab testing, on-site X-rays, prescription medications, counseling and holistic well-being services. For more information, visit chw.calpoly.edu.