Texas A&M Organization Talks Roe Vs Wade
U.S. Supreme Court ruling shuts down group distributing contraceptives to college students
BRYAN, Texas — On June 24, a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy was revoked, which had been in effect for 50 years.
A pro-choice organization named Feminists for Reproductive Equity and Education (FREE), founded at Texas A&M University, distributes contraceptives to students. The organization provides sex education and offers students ways to protect themselves during and after sex.
Salem Smith is vice president of Feminists for Reproductive Equity and student intern for Planned Parenthood. Smith told a KAGS reporter that a sense of emptiness fell on both organizations when Roe Vs Wade was knocked down.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling ended one of the ways the organizations supported students on campus. Smith said they planned to distribute contraceptives to students that day.
“I mean, I just remember waking up that morning and seeing the news and feeling a sense of dread.” “Basically my boss told me not to hand out plan b’s, right now we have no idea what they’re going to get you in trouble for,” Salem said.
Smith explained how that was their reaction out of fear, the domino effect they predict.
Smith said she was asking herself that day, the same question as other abortion activists and organizers, “Is this going to get to the point where I’m going to be arrested for trying to help people to ask people for basic health care?”
Smith believes this is a targeted attack on a community that supports women who have accessed their right to basic health care.
“It’s a scary time,” Smith said.
Hannah Albor, Treasurer of FREE, had the same question as she worries about young women who are scared right now. Albor said she thought the reversal would do more harm than good.
“Young women are scared right now,” Albor said.
“I think it’s opened a Pandora’s box that will allow Texas legislatures to take a really conservative step back,” Albor said.
Albor thinks LGBTQ rights, women’s rights and more rights will soon become the next target.
Albor said it could open the door for lawmakers to reconsider other thwarted rulings such as Lawerence v. Texas.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, opened on June 24, writing in an opinion piece that SCOTUS “should reconsider” its past ruling codifying contraceptive access rights, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
Albor thinks lawmakers should focus on what she called more pressing issues. She believes that maternal health care, ensuring school meals for children and gun laws are more important.
Albor said agency over a woman’s body is something a state could decide, outraged at the message she thinks it sends to young women.
“Wow, the Supreme Court thinks I’m lucky to have a thing that deserves more rights than a handgun, that’s nonsense,” said Albur
Smith and Albor expressed how heartbroken they were and described it as “strange times” in America right now.
FREE and Planned Parenthood expect to hear soon how they will provide contraceptive services and resources to women.
“No matter what, we’re going to keep fighting,” Smith said.
“The only thing we have left is hope,” Albor said.