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Republicans unveil legislation to block federal funding of colleges that offer abortions

Chip Roy
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill as he unveils the Protect Life on College Campus Act of 2021, in Washington, D.C., on July 21, 2021. |

Pro-life groups are celebrating congressional Republicans' introduction of legislation that would block federal funding for colleges and universities that provide abortions or abortion pills to students.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., unveiled the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021. At the event, hosted by the pro-life group Students for Life of America, the lead sponsors of the legislation illustrated the need to protect college students and preborn children with this “important landmark pro-life legislation.” 

“This legislation is the next logical step in our quest to protect life,” Roy said. He lamented the rapid rise in the share of chemical abortions (abortion pills) as the percentage of all abortions conducted in the United States, which has increased from 6% of all abortions in 2001 to around 40% 20 years later.

Roy indicated that a California law provided the impetus to introduce the legislation. “Starting in 2023, every public university in California will be required to provide chemical abortion pills to their students,” he explained. According to Roy, “This legislation aims to stop that from expanding and indeed hopefully, we can … impress upon the people of California to turn back on this foolish path that they’re taking.”

He described the situation in California as “a preview of what is to come if good people do nothing,” warning that similar legislation to the California law has been proposed in other states. The introduction of the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021 comes as pro-abortion activists have worked to loosen the requirements for distributing the abortion pill so that women could obtain the abortion pill by mail without having to see a doctor in person first. 

Earlier this year, abortion advocates succeeded in getting the Biden administration’s Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban on obtaining the abortion pill by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. A judge had previously struck down the ban last year, but the Trump administration succeeded in getting the U.S. Supreme Court to order its reinstatement. At the press conference, Roy slammed the push for women to perform “do-it-yourself abortions.”

“We shouldn’t be a country where we take women at their most vulnerable time, when they’re young, they’ve gone off to college … and essentially allow for there to be chemically induced abortions for a do-it-yourself abortion and what that does to the psychology of the young woman and what that does for obviously the life of the unborn,” he declared.

While much of the press conference focused on the dangers of abortion pills, the legislation would cut off federal funds from all colleges that provide the option for their students to obtain any type of abortion on campus, chemical or surgical.

During his remarks, Daines asserted that “chemical abortions are dangerous and they target very vulnerable young women.” 

“We can’t let our campus clinics become abortion clinics. The craziness in California, and they’ve gone crazy out there in California, that can become the mainstream in America,” he continued. “It is time for Congress to pass this life-saving bill.”

As Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., another member of Congress working to pass the bill, explained, “After the initial abortion pill kills the baby in the womb, the mother takes a second pill that forces her to pass the dead child while all alone.”

Miller slammed the abortion industry for telling girls that “once they take … this pill, they are no longer pregnant.” She characterized that claim as false, noting that “the abortion pill causes you to go into labor and you will give birth to a dead baby by yourself, alone, without medical attention.” 

In addition to elected officials, activists from pro-life groups also spoke at the press conference. Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins asserted that “schools should not be in the business of ending the lives of future students.” 

Former Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, who now serves as vice president of government affairs at Susan B. Anthony List, elaborated on the side effects of abortion pills: “Potential complications include severe bleeding, intense pain, infection caused by incomplete abortions, physical and emotional trauma and even death in some instances.”

Musgrave also noted that “six states have passed chemical abortion safeguards into law.” The Family Research Council identified those states as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Ohio and Oklahoma.

Toni McFadden, Students for Life’s minority outreach and healthy relationships director, testified about her own experience with a chemical abortion. She recalled how two months after taking the abortion pills, she started “severely hemorrhaging” with “blood clots the size of my fists leaving my body.” 

“I went home, sat on the toilet for hours, waiting to flush my dead baby down the toilet,” she added. “I could have been one of 24 women that we know of who have died taking these very same pills.”

According to the text of the legislation, the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021 would “prohibit the award of Federal funds to an institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with a student-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortions to students of the institution or to employees of the institution or site.” 

The bill would also require colleges and universities with “one or more school-based service sites” to “submit an annual report to the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifying that no such site provides abortion drugs or abortions to students of the institution or to employees of the institution or site.” 

Even before the introduction of the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021, pro-life groups have put together in-depth studies highlighting the dangers of abortion pills.

Students for Life of America recently collaborated with Charlotte Pence Bond, the daughter of former Vice President Mike Pence, to create a docuseries titled “This is Chemical Abortion” featuring five short videos on the topic. Last year, Live Action put together an investigative report on the dangers of the abortion pill as part of its campaign called “Abortion Pill Kills.”  

In addition to Roy, Daines and Miller, the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021 has been cosponsored by more than 50 House Republicans. The bill faces an uphill path to passage in Congress as Democrats, who support expanded access to abortion, control the House, the Senate and the White House.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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