Generation Action leaders oppose Texas’ six-week abortion ban

Generation Action discusses the importance of raising awareness for women’s rights, abortion rights, and reproductive health.


Photo courtesy of Tamia Baker and Carolina Diaz.

Generation Action Members at 2021 Slut Walk.

Darlene Antoine, Features Editor

In the wake of the recent Texas legislation that has restricted abortion procedures as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, university leaders of Generation Action advocate for abortion rights (pro-choice) and reproductive healthcare both on and off campus. 

The Planned Parenthood organization is a student-run university chapter that works to inform, educate, and raise awareness on subjects such as reproductive freedom, sexual health, and reproductive rights.

The Texas Law Explained

The six-week abortion ban as known as “Senate Bill 8” was drafted by Texas lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in May of this year. 

The Texas Tribune reported that Gov. Abbott stance was to ensure the right to life: “‘Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said in a bill signing ceremony, captured on videos posted on social media. The Legislature “worked together on a bipartisan basis to pass a bill that I’m about to sign that ensures that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.’” 

The law has taken effect this month. 

While the abortion procedure is still legal in Texas, the legislation places restrictions against the procedure even in cases of sexual assault. According to the Washington Post, the law incentivizes and allows private citizens to sue abortion providers as well as anyone who is suspected of “aiding and abetting” abortions after the six-week mark. Alongside this, the Texas law has established a $10,000 award for any successful lawsuit to stop abortion.

President of Generation Action Tamia Baker, Vice President Carolina Diaz, Treasurer Neena Pershadsingh, and Secretary Jada Bowers sat down with the UP to discuss their mission as well as the significance of Texas law on reproductive rights.

“My thoughts on the legislation, honestly, plain and simple: I think it’s crazy. And I think it’s inconsiderate of women in general, and also women who don’t have the financial means to travel or maybe they don’t have the time,” Baker said.

Baker said that the legislation could prompt Texan women to seek the procedure out of the state which could cause additional financial difficulties as well as displacing them from their homes if they have other children already. 

‘It’s a war on women.’

Diaz remarked that the severity of the law and the lack of understanding about reproductive rights is an endangerment to many. 

“I think that the biggest issue with that is that so many people don’t really understand the severity of it. I think that’s one of the biggest things, it’s such an invasive kind of legislation, a lot of women don’t even know they’re pregnant until like, eight weeks,” Diaz said. “A lot of people don’t understand that even if you were to ban all abortion completely, they’re still going to happen, it’s just not going to be safe. And so now you’re endangering other people, just because you want to take control over people’s bodies. And at that point, it becomes a war on women.”

Bowers said that there are a number of misconceptions about Planned Parenthood that lead others to be misinformed. 

“There’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding abortion rights and women’s rights, and what Planned Parenthood does, there are a lot of people who think that they know and, you know, don’t actually know the full extent of it or have some misunderstanding,” Bowers said. 

According to Global Citizen, the most common misconceptions people have about Planned Parenthood are about its services.  

Planned Parenthood services extend beyond abortion as the health center offers clinical breast examinations, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, STD and STI screenings, emergency contraception, pregnancy counseling, and much more.  

When asked about what students can do to advocate on behalf of abortion and women’s rights Bowers prompted students to be politically active. 

“Some of the most important things you can do is vote if this issue comes to the table if you’re in Florida, which it seems like it might. Calling representatives, putting your opinion out there, signing petitions, and just getting the word out as much as possible. Not only does this affect the statewide, but this, of course, is a threat to Roe v. Wade, which will become a much larger issue it overturns,” Bowers said.

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized the constitutional right for abortions without excessive government restriction across the country.

Pershadsingh felt that the current Texas law wasn’t progressive for women’s rights and education is a vital way for people to stay accurately informed about reproductive rights.

“It feels as though we’re taking steps back and it’s just heartbreaking, especially, to the people and women in Texas, because it’s directly affecting them,” Pershadsingh said. “Education and spreading awareness are very important. [Raising awareness is] more than just social media pictures, but also messaging or emailing the mayor, the governor just getting the word out, trying to get into the system, because people don’t realize that once everyone’s voices come together, and once everyone kind of takes it more seriously, it can truly affect the outcome of it.”

Diaz asserted that the politicians who supported this law caused a direct infringement of civil rights.

“This is civil rights that [the Texas law] takes away from people. And people don’t understand that. I think there needs to be some education, and not only with the students, faculty, or even people in general. I think politicians need to be educated. This is now a serious issue infringing on people’s rights. In the land of the free, they’re telling us ‘you can’t do this.’ I’ve never felt more like a cry for help than right now. Because this is quite literally just a direct attack to my uterus, to anyone else’s uterus. This is a direct attack. This is a straight chastity belt onto your uterus. It’s not fair to anyone, and people need to understand that. And I think the best way for politicians to understand this is through education,” Diaz said.

Darlene Antoine is the Features Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].