Anti-Abortion Group Student Members Support the Texas Heartbeat Act – UNIVERSITY PRESS
Students for Life members talk about access to abortion and the pro-life movement.
On May 19th, the Texan legislature passed a restrictive Abortion Act, which effectively prohibits abortion six weeks after the onset of pregnancy with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The bill, which aims to specifically prevent women and non-binary people from accessing the abortion process, has met with criticism and support across the country.
Students for the Life of America is a student-led university group that took a moment to express their support for the bill and provide some insight into their larger mission to ban abortion nationwide.
Carrie Shank, vice president of the Boca Raton campus chapter of Students for Life of America, gave her opinion on the bill.
“I support the law,” said Carrie Shank. “I think it is a great achievement for Students of Life for America and our mission to ban abortion.”
In addition to Carrie Shank, her siblings Sadie Shank and Calvin Shank are members of the organization and they hope to educate students about alternatives to abortion and provide resources to encourage pregnant people to give birth.
The Texas Heartbeat Act prohibits abortions after six weeks, which is two weeks for most people. Although there have been several attempts in history to ban access to abortion, the Texas Heartbeat Act is unique in its application.
The law, also known as Senate Bill 8, places enforcement responsibility in the hands of Texan citizens and encourages them to bring civil lawsuits against those who help procure abortion procedures.
“The really important thing is [the Texas bill] helps the people planning an abortion by keeping an eye on those people around them, ”said Calvin Shank.
Founded in 1988 at Georgetown University, Students for the Life of America is a non-profit anti-abortion organization with sections across the United States.
The group’s goal is to attract, educate, and collect students as early as middle school in order to achieve their goal of banning all abortions in the country. Their three-step model, simplified under the motto “Belong, Believe, Behave”, has led to the creation of more than 1,250 groups on different campuses.
Javon Peters, a freshman and group member, said he believes Texan law will buy time for those who oppose abortion resources are available to them.
Peter expressed his support by saying, “You know, just for the sake of simplicity we are using it as a deterrent. This is how this law is to be used; it is not intended to be targeted, it is used to say that this cannot happen. “
The main branch of Students For Life has a contraception policy that allows the use of methods they consider non-abortionate, a title bestowed on forms of birth control which they believe they are unable to ” to end the life of a preborn child unnaturally ”. Methods such as hormonal contraception, have been designated as an abortion drug by the organization and their use is officially denied.
Currently, the only methods accepted by the organization are condom / diaphragm use, vaginal sponge use, spermicide, sterilization, and “natural family planning”.
According to official data, natural family planning, when used perfectly, can be up to 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, however in typical practice, the effectiveness of this method can vary widely.
However, when asked about methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies such as condom use and birth control, each member expressed support.
“We’d rather stop it before it happens than try to stop it after,” assured Peter. “For us, everything revolves around prevention or help; We either prevent the pregnancy or we accompany the pregnancy through to completion and then help the mother and children when it is finished. “
The group also advocated other prevention methods, especially comprehensive sex education.
“I definitely think it’s very important to give sex education to people of the right age to prevent this from happening [unwanted pregnancies]“Said Sadie Shank.
Calvin Shank went on to point out that the club aims to educate people about all the resources available to them, which the group hopes to encourage more people to seek alternative abortion.
“The goal of the club is to impart knowledge about the possibilities of women,” said Calvin Shank. “We will let them know that we are by their side and help them every step of the way.”
Caroline Little is a writer for the University Press. For information on this or any other story, email her at [email protected]