Barnard College will offer abortion pills on campus beginning next year, in a move that shows how some colleges and universities may handle the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The New York City women’s college made the announcement Thursday, saying that it plans on bolstering its reproductive health care services in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. By fall 2023, campus medical providers will be trained and prepared to administer abortion by medication.
“History and research strongly suggest that the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to legal abortion will have serious negative consequences for women’s futures,” university leaders said in a message to the campus community. “The overturning of Roe v. Wade after 50 years will likely decrease college accessibility, result in lower graduation rates, and derail employment trajectories.”
They continued: “While our students have access to high-quality reproductive health services in New York and particularly at (Columbia University Irving Medical Center), we are also preparing in the event that there is a barrier to access in the future, for any reason.”
Barnard is not the only college that will begin such services. In 2019, before the Supreme Court decision, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring public state universities to offer abortion pills starting next year. A similar law enacted in Massachusetts this summer will require colleges to submit plans for medication abortion access by November 2023.
Medication abortion, also known as abortion with pills, involves ending a pregnancy by taking two pills, rather than through surgery. State laws vary, but the pills can be taken up to 11 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual cycle.