SACRAMENTO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The bishops of California are calling for a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe to help defeat a radical abortion bill that would force all universities in the state to dispense abortion pills.
Spearheaded by Bp. Jaime Soto of the diocese of Sacramento, bishops from the dioceses of San Jose, Stockton, Orange and San Bernadino and the archbishops of Los Angeles and San Francisco are also taking part.
Bishop Soto called it an "unprecedented intrusion on university campuses" and said it "only serves to further indoctrinate the young to the ideology of abortion." He implored Catholics to continue to make their opposition known to their legislators.
The novena runs from Saturday, Aug. 3 to Sunday, Aug. 11, and the bishops composed a prayer to be said daily along with an Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be.
The intention of the novena is to stop a California bill from becoming law that would force all California public colleges with on-campus student health centers to dispense abortion pills. The bill, College Student Right to Access Act, or SB 24, has passed all committee votes and will be voted on when the Senate reconvenes on Aug. 12.
This is the second time California lawmakers are attempting to introduce abortion to university campuses. In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation. Brown argued the legislation was unnecessary "because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus."
"I would have supported that. I have long supported that," he said. "I subscribe to Planned Parenthood and NARAL's position on that."
Newsom signed a declaration proclaiming June 2019 as "LGBTQ Pride Month" in California. In it, he stated, "As we celebrate Pride across this state, we must continue to demand equal rights for all to create a California for all."
Newsom, as mayor of San Francisco in 2004, allowed marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples. His actions ignited a nearly month-long spectacle where some 4,000 same-sex "marriages" were performed.
Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva re-introduced the bill in December after Newsom was elected.
The legislation makes a number of bold declarations, the first being, "Abortion care is a constitutional right and an integral part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care."
It also values graduation and retention rates and women's "educational and other aspirational life plans" over the life of the unborn.
"The state has an interest in ensuring that every pregnant person in California who wants to have an abortion can obtain access to that care as easily and as early in pregnancy as possible," it reads.
They also go on to say, "Abortion by medication techniques is extremely safe, highly effective, and cost-effective" and the "health center staff are licensed to provide medication abortion since California law requires all residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology include abortion training."
"Any clinician legally authorized to provide abortion, but not currently trained to provide abortion by medication techniques, can be trained inexpensively to do so, and such training falls within the requirements of continuing education for medical providers," it claims.
Initially, medication for abortions will be paid for with a private fund that SB 24 will create. While proponents of the bill claim it is privately funded, the legislation wording allows for the possibility of using taxpayer money, saying, "Notwithstanding any other law, the commission is authorized to receive moneys from nonstate entities, including, but not necessarily limited to, private sector entities and local and federal government agencies, and deposit these moneys in the fund."
In about three years, by 2023, funding will be depleted and there is no stipulation on how the abortion services will be paid for. They require the fund to have at least $10,290,000 available before Jan. 1, 2020.
This money will allow for grants of $200,000 to universities to be used for abortion equipment purchase, facility and security upgrades, reimbursement for costs of training staff on how to dispense abortion medications. The University of California and California State University will also be granted $200,000 to establish a 24-hour phone-in support line for women who experience complications.
According to the California Catholic Conference fact sheet, medical abortion requires surgical follow-up for 3% of women who are at six-weeks gestation. The failure rate for medical abortion skyrockets to 15% at later stages of pregnancy.
Using legislators' own estimates of roughly 500 students per month using the abortion pill, this equates to 15 to 75 students per month that will need a follow up surgical abortion.
Since 2018, there have been 22 deaths as a result of the abortion pill. Some of the other statistics on the abortion pill's adverse effects show each year, on average, 228 women experience some adverse event, 64 are hospitalized, 416 require transfusion and 26 contract an infection.
The number of injuries of a serious nature and the liability for the university are another reason critics are denouncing the legislation.
Still another complaint is that it only offers abortion services and doesn't offer counseling or support services if the woman wants to keep her baby.
"SB 24 institutionalizes a type of state discrimination against any student with a different viewpoint," according to the bishops' fact sheet — nor does the legislation require information that the abortion pill is reversible.
Evidence is emerging that 64% to 68% of women who take the pregnancy hormone progesterone soon after the first dose of mifepristone keep their baby.
Mifepristone works to kill an unborn baby by blocking the hormone progesterone that is necessary to provide nutrients for the unborn baby and they slowly starve to death. By flooding the body with progesterone, it is hoped that there is enough progesterone in the system to maintain nutrient production for the baby.
The novena will culminate with the bishops celebrating Masses all across the state for this intention. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the head of the archdiocese of San Francisco will live stream the Mass for those unable to attend.
More information about the novena can be found here.