(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the student government at the University of Florida considered a bill that would have allocated $1.5 million to defray out-of-state abortion costs for students.
The funds would have reimbursed students who wanted to travel to states with zero abortion restrictions, like California, to avoid Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. The bill would have covered 50% of the costs for travel and related expenses.
The money would have come from a University of Florida reserve account, which contains “funds left over at the end of the year and revenues collected in excess of budget.”
The Student Government Judiciary Committee tabled the bill, called the “Authorization Ordering the Student Body President to Facilitate Access to Pregnancy-Related Healthcare Services to Students,” with no plans to reconsider it.
Student Senator Oscar Santiago Perez introduced the bill.
The bill argued that the student government should cover abortion costs because students have sex without desiring children.
Perez’s bill stated that “around one third of college women do not use any form of birth control…sixty-two per cent of college students do not use condoms each time they have sex each year…ninety-two per cent of couples having frequent unprotected sex will conceive each year.”
Student Senator John Brinkman said the committee killed the legislation because it was “unconstitutional and likely illegal in every manner, way, shape, and form possible.”
The Student Government Supreme Court, mimicking the US Supreme Court in its desire to make laws rather than adjudicate disputes, will hear a case this semester that could revive the legislation.
After the bill’s defeat, Perez appealed to the court to determine whether the Judiciary Committee improperly killed it.