A state senate bill allowing women to purchase the morning after pill over the counter is on Governor Gray Davis’ desk after being passed in a 23 to 8 by the state senate on Sept. 12.
The governor has no stance or comment regarding the bill, he has until the 14 of October to make a decision,” said Davis spokesperson Roger Salazar. “The governor reads each bill independently and decides what is the best for the citizens of the state.”
However, many speculate the bill will pass because of Davis’ pro-choice stance.
“To those who would seek to deny a woman her right to choose, let me offer this suggestion,” Davis said in his inaugural address. “Don’t waste the Legislature’s time trying to pass bills restricting women’s constitution rights. It simply will not happen on my watch.”
There are also opposing views on the bill. The Mills True Christian Fellowship Club co-head sophomore Shannon Wood does not support of the bill. “I feel this is an unfortunate cultural development,” she said. “The morning after pill is a side affect from responsibility.”
As of right now, the Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) is only obtained through doctors’ authorization or at clinics such as Planned Parenthood. The bill would allow women to purchase the pill over the counter.
“This would make it so much easier for women to obtain,” said co-president of Choice USA Kazia Luce.
“As of right now, some women have to travel very far to the closest clinic to get ECP. Access to contraceptives is a problem many women face,” she said.
National Abortion and Reproductive Action League (NARAL) stated on its Web site that women in rural areas have to travel great distances to reach the nearest doctor or clinic in order to obtain emergency contraceptives. The two pills that must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. Making the 72-hour time frame very difficult with a commute. Within 12 hours after the 72 hours, two more pills are then taken.
According to the Planned Parenthood Web site, “widespread use and availability of ECP could prevent more than half of all unintended pregnancies and abortions in the U.S.”
The fact sheet also said that in the U.S., 80 percent of teenagers find themselves unintentionally pregnant and each year, 1 in 10 women between the ages 15-19 become pregnant, half of whom have abortions.
“ECP is a contraceptive and not an abortion,” said Belle Taylor McGhee, executive director of California Abortion and Reproductive Action League (CARAL).
Emergency contraceptive has been confused with RU-487, a pill that does abort a fetus.
The California Prolife Council also acknowledged the difference between RU-487. A spokesperson from the council said, “the council has no comment regarding the bills because ECP is a contraception and not an abortion.” California Prolife also said, “we do not see ECP as a threat to human life.”