Students for Planned Parenthood stand in Students For Life demonstration.

Students for Planned Parenthood stand in Students For Life demonstration. Jack Myer/The Paisano

Students For Life (SFL) at UTSA displayed panels showcasing information related to Planned Parenthood on April 9. This demonstration included a pro-life panel discussion designed to answer questions for any student seeking further information on their stance.

The demonstration was met with protestors advocating for pro-choice, resulting in a group of students engaging in discourse in front of the McKinney Humanities (MH) building at UTSA’s Main Campus. Students shared stories and expressed concerns relating to their personal views on the topic.

Students in support of pro-choice voiced their concerns over social issues surrounding the circumstances that lead women to seek help from organizations like Planned Parenthood. Alternatively, students in support of pro-life voiced their concerns with the lack of medical support provided to women who seek out these services.

The pro-life supporters emphasized a change in government legislation related to how abortion facilities are inspected and the level of medical services they provide in the event of complications during a patient’s procedure.

“We’re calling for the government to inspect [these facilities] because of the low healthcare services they provide,” Melanie Salazar, a junior communication major and president of SFL, said. “Federally qualified health centers are regularly inspected and offer a higher quality of healthcare. We’re calling on the attorney general to inspect Planned Parenthoods in order to keep women safe.”

The pro-choice supporters countered with personal stories of successful procedures, with one student yelling out that “an abortion saved my life.”

“They don’t talk about the social situations that some people can’t escape from, which lead to abortions,” Katarina Tsvetkova, a senior public health major, said. “And there is already legislation that opposes abortions in some states, so there is less of an incentive for there to be a choice.”

The debate continued with students sharing more of their personal views on the topic.

“For the pro-life generation, we have to create a culture to empower women to choose life,” Salazar said.

“A culture needs to be established about a women’s basic right to choose what to do with her own body,” Tsvetkova said.

During their demonstration, SFL also promoted a Title IX workshop they are hosting to educate student parents on their rights. Since Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex under federal civil rights laws which includes protection over pregnancies and parental status, the “Know Your Rights” Title IX workshop, which will be hosted on April 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Anaqua room located in the Student Union, aims to inform students on these rights.

While the debate continues, UTSA provides counseling and Title IX services for students seeking assistance. For more information on counseling services at UTSA, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/counsel. For more information on Title IX services, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/eos/titleix.html.

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