Student Planned Parenthood group marches campus against Texas abortion ban

Student-led+Planned+Parenthood+General+Action+protested+recent+anti-abortion+legislation+passed+in+Texas+Sept.+13.+

Andy McLean

Student-led Planned Parenthood General Action protested recent anti-abortion legislation passed in Texas Sept. 13.

Jenna Guzman, Reporter

App State’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action held a solidarity march Monday to support reproductive rights, in response to Texas’s new anti-abortion law.

The law, which was put into effect Sept.1, bans abortion past six weeks of pregnancy, a time in which most women don’t know they’re pregnant, according to gynecologist Dr. Dana R. Gosset. The law allows no exceptions such as pregnancies from rape or incest, unless it’s classified as a medical emergency. Anyone who suspects others of conducting or aiding in abortions has the right to sue them at a starting fine of $10,000.

“The importance of this march is to show solidarity for people affected by Texas’s anti-abortion bill and any bill similar,” said Maddy Frye, president of App State’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action.

Frye said one of the goals of the march was to have a community of people that would “fight for the rights of anyone that is affected by any of these negative laws.”

Over 100 people participated in the demonstration. Most of those who attended were students, but alumni and locals also came out to show their support. 

“We originally thought around 40 people would show up,” Frye said.

Frye and Planned Parenthood member Amanda DeMarte said they wanted to create a sense of community, adding how marches are a good way to bring attention to a cause.

Jillian Mobley, a graduate assistant who works for the Women’s Center, organized the march against abortion bans.. Mobley led the crowd through town and facilitated chants. (Jesse Barber)

“We are here to build community, not to change minds,” said Jillyan Mobley, a first year grad student, to the crowd minutes before the march started. 

The march started at 7 p.m. and lasted exactly one hour. Starting on Sanford Mall, participants walked along Rivers Street, Howard Street and then back to campus. The entirety of the march consisted of chants and people voicing their opinions. 

“I’m here because the laws that are being made for abortions are f—–, and women should have a right to make their own decisions for their bodies because they are already really hard decisions,” said Teya Redding, a freshman environmental science major. 

Attendees of the march walked with posters that displayed how they felt about the new law.

“I am here because I do not agree with what Texas has to say, and we’re here to hopefully make a change,” said Meghan Coates, a junior exercise science major. 

After the march, the crowd gathered again on Sanford, where the group chanted more and spoke about their thoughts and experiences, cheered each other on, and said some empowering words.

Junior sustainable development major Odina Corbin said in a speech it is important to show support for those who need it and to love and care for one another more.

During this time, many also brought awareness to other issues going on in America.

Protestors paired chants criticizing the anti-abortion legislation with signs saying “I stand with Planned Parenthood.”

“I know that you all are upset about your uteruses being more regulated than an AR-15!” said Julia Montminy, a second year graduate student.

Sandra Pardo, a junior social work major, brought up the importance of supporting people of color during this time because they are already marginalized and directly impacted by these news laws.

According to research by the University of Texas at Austin in July, the new law strongly affects black people and those living on low income because they don’t have enough time to come up with the funding needed to get an abortion before the six-week mark.

 “I feel it’s very restrictive and very close minded and the government just shouldn’t have an opinion on what we decide to do with our bodies,” said Amanda DeMarte.

The law overturns the court’s original decision in the case Roe V. Wade.

“I think that it’s taking a step backwards,” said Sydney Ford, a 2019 graduate.

As of right now, Texas is the only state to have officially legalized a ban on abortion at six weeks.

Frye said PPGA’s goal for the future is to continue supporting anyone negatively affected by Texas’s abortion ban and any other abortion or reproductive rights restrictions that arise in the future.