Lubbock community organizers hosted the Reproductive Rights Protest on October 2nd at Tim Cole Memorial Park to protest the recent restrictions on abortion access in Lubbock and across Texas.
Kim Gonzalez, an organizer of the Reproductive Rights Protest, said there is an impact of the city-wide ordinance to restrict abortion access on the Lubbock community.
“It’s been a huge impact, there’s a lot of women that need that particular form of healthcare, it’s important for women to be able to choose when and how they become a parent, and when they are not going to become a parent,” said Gonzalez. “And now some of that choice has been taken away from us.”
Due to the recent restrictions on abortion access in Texas, women seeking abortion services are having to travel out of state, said Gonzalez.
“Some women are having to fly to Albuquerque, having to fly to other states to get the healthcare that they need,” said Gonzalez. “There’s lot of barriers and limitations, and that’s exactly what the lawmakers wanted to do with this law.”
The Planned Parenthood health center in Lubbock will continue to operate, said Gonzalez.
“Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” said Gonzalez. “They do a whole lot more than abortion care. They provide contraceptives and STI testing and regular testing and sexual education for people that just need it frankly, because often here in West Texas we don’t get sexual education for our kids.”
Second-year musical theater major, Becca Worthington was at the protest and said the cause was important.
“We’re out here protesting for reproductive rights, especially in the state of Texas, it’s really important right now,” the Verdigris, Oklahoma native said.
Of all the medical services planned parenthood preforms, only three percent of them are abortions, said Worthington.
“Everything else is like men’s reproductive health and women’s reproductive health,” said Worthington.
According to data provided by Planned Parenthood in their 2019-2020 annual report, abortion makes up three percent of all medical services provided, while STI testing and treatment, and contraceptives make up 52 percent and 25 percent respectively.
Emma Tedder, a second-year musical theatre major from Little Rock, Arkansas, said the Texas abortion ban is a topic of conversation for many.
“I think the Texas abortion ban has made people more divided and less in tune with the facts,” said Tedder. “If you make abortion illegal, statistically more abortions happen, and they’re less safe so more people are dying.”
According to data provided by the Guttmacher Institute, countries that prohibit abortion have a rate of 37 abortions per 1000 people, and countries that do not prohibit abortion have a rate of 34 abortions per 1000 people.
“We’re here and we’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to make sure that our voices and our choices are heard,” Kim Gonzalez said. “And that’s why we are having an event like today.”