Please, Investigate Planned Parenthood

Today (April 9, 2019) was an emotionally draining day on campus to say the least.

People entering UTSA’s Main Campus today were greeted by a sea of little pink crosses on the green by MH, which were claimed to represent the lives lost every day to abortion (I asked which place this data was taken from and received no clear answer.) I am so lucky to have never been faced with the need to make such a difficult choice, but I can’t imagine how terrible this display made women who have made the decision to get an abortion feel.

It is traumatic to come on your own campus and see things like this. This combined with the fact that no actual information was actually shared (just data twisted to fit Students for Life’s personal agenda) is why nothing positive actually came from this demonstration, or vigil as they would call it, only conflict and trauma. All in the name of what? Investigating Planned Parenthood? Go ahead, because Students United for Planned Parenthood at UTSA had current and unaltered facts on their table for people to see, along with a sign urging people to, yes, “Investigate Planned Parenthood,” because you just might learn something if you do.

Here are some things other protesters and I were told today (mostly by cisgendered men, who will never even be pregnant): that abortions are “only” $400 and if you can’t afford that get a job (spoiler: I and many others do have a job and still don’t have that kind of money to throw around), that when abortion was illegal women weren’t doing things like using coat hangers and throwing themselves down stairs because they were forced to put themselves in danger by harmful legislation, that consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy, that rape or potential death are not good reasons for an abortion. I watched people talk down to women and, even worse, to women of color, a group that is disproportionately affected by reproductive issues. If this has made me tired, I cannot imagine how those women of color felt getting ridiculed and talked over while taking a stand for something that they have a personal stake in.

Leaving campus and seeing only holes in the ground from a fake and manipulative “burial site” in the aftermath, I tried not to think about all I heard. It affects me. It’s hard. It’s hard knowing people think about women that way, that there are people fighting to take away my healthcare, that can be so nasty. There is no place for this on campus and I’m at least hopeful to have seen so many people stand out against it and with Students United for Planned Parenthood in solidarity. I’m so grateful for the professor that made the man from Infowars (yeah, I know) stop filming and go away, for the mother of a trans son who thanked us, for everyone who offered support. Say it again, louder: there is no place for misogyny, intimidation, manipulation, or racism on my campus.