Alexandra Perez was one of the thousands who took to the streets of downtown Saturday afternoon to march for abortion rights. The San Antonio mother of a 4-year-old daughter, Perez, 24, wanted to stand up for her little girl as laws regarding abortion become more restrictive.
“We’re really not moving forward; we’re moving back,” Perez said. “I need to do something to fight for her so that she doesn’t have to live that way.”
Perez’s friend Rick Capone, 25, supported her.
“I know how important this can be and how it feels to have other people trying to micromanage something that is yours,” he said.
This past Saturday was one of many protests across the country and in Texas. The march started and ended in Milam Park. The marches were for the protection of abortion rights which restrict access, including Texas Senate Bill 8.
This was the strictest abortion law in the country. The law bans abortion by prohibiting it after six weeks of gestation which is before most women know that they’re pregnant. The bill did not include any exceptions for rape or incest.
Texas women are paying attention and are not going to allow others to take away the freedom they have over their bodies.
Ali Perez, a 41-year-old mother of four, shared her story of having an abortion when she was 19. She added the idea of forcing women to carry children to term is horrible to her.
“Abortion should just be something that we choose in our health care,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be an issue, and we don’t have to go around feeling ashamed and scared of what people will say to us.”
Protestor Carol Soules, 30, marched with a poster that read “anti-abortion = pro-death”.
“I don’t believe that women can be equal in society unless we are able to make our own decisions regarding our reproductive rights,” she said.
Vice president of Boerne Area Democrats, Marilyn Harrington, was encouraged by the turnout.
“Being 74, I look back and I’m worried about who is going to carry on, who’s going to fight,” she said. “Are we going to give up? What are we going to do? After today, I think we’ve got a good group of women following, and I’m much more confident.”
The director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Texas, Mara Posada, has dealt with numerous calls from people asking about abortion services. She has seen a wide range of emotions from despair to anger.
“As a result (of SB8), the vast majority of Texans needing abortion right now are unable to get one within the state,” she said. “That is an assault on our bodily autonomy and our human rights to make decisions that are best for ourselves and for our family.”
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