Republican lawmakers are taking aim at abortion pills being provided to women on college campuses.
Dubbed the Protecting Life on College Campus Act, introduced on Wednesday, the legislation would bar federal funds from going to colleges and universities that provide abortions or abortion drugs to students or employees.
It is a response to a California law that requires health centers on state universities to provide medicated abortion, also called abortion pills or dubbed “chemical abortion” by anti-abortion activists, to students by 2023.
"This legislation aims to stop that from expanding,” said Texas Rep. Chip Roy. “It's only a matter of time before other abortion extremists attempt to pass it in their states.”
Roy, Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, and Sen. Steve Daines of Montana were joined by dozens of anti-abortion activists from various organizations, mostly those from Students for Life, wielding red signs that said, “Chemical abortions hurts women.”
Toni McFadden, minority outreach director at Students for Life of America, recalled her experience taking abortion pills when she was a teenager seven weeks into her pregnancy. She took the first mifepristone, the drug that kills the fetus, in the abortion doctor's office. Then in her home, 24 to 48 hours later, as instructed, she took misoprostol, the drug that creates cramping and bleeding to expel the fetus — essentially inducing labor.
“Nothing happened,” McFadden said. “I spotted a little bit, and that was it. I was so young and educated that I thought that was it,” she said, because a nurse had told her that the fetus was so small.
“Two months later, while in school, I started severely hemorrhaging,” she said. “I had blood clots the size of my fist leaving my body. I went and sat on the toilet for hours.”
At least 24 women have died after taking abortion pills, she said.
Miller said that the use of abortion pills has drastically increased as they became available through the mail. "The abortion industry has a long-term strategy to make abortion self-managed and unrestricted,” Miller said. “They exploit young women.”
The pro-abortion rights Gurrmacher Institute estimates that more than a third of abortions in 2017 were medicated abortions, which can be performed at up to seven weeks.
Dozens of other Republicans in the House and several in the Senate are co-sponsors of the bill.
The legislation has little chance of becoming law in the current Democratic-controlled Congress or being signed by President Joe Biden, but it serves as a key indicator of the type of services that anti-abortion activists are turning toward, rather than focusing solely on surgical abortion clinics.
Daines said that he has been following his daughter's pregnancy on an app called Sprout.
“This is the 20-week baby right now,” he said, holding up his phone. “If you send the Mars lander, and they send images back, and they found that on Mars, what would they say? There's life on Mars.”
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Original Author: Emily Brooks