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Sunday, March 26, 2023


Socialist Alternative, SGA protest Texas’ abortion ban


Students marched around campus during the Socialist Alliance protest on Sept. 30, 2021 | Katrina Kuwaja/The Cougar

Two protests at UH against Texas’ Senate Bill 8 happened Thursday, both advocating against the abortion bill and for women’s reproductive rights in the state.

One took place around noon and was hosted by the Houston branch of the political organization, Socialist Alternative. The other was hosted by the Student Government Association at the University at 4 p.m.

“This bill makes abortions functionally illegal, as well as allowing vigilantes to sue,” said Social Alternative member and air pollution Ph.D student Alex Spike at the earlier protest. “Making it so that anyone who receives, assists in or even performs an abortion hesitant.”

Spike was joined by tens of other UH students who shared the same sentiments. 

“We want to rebuild the kind of movement that won Roe v. Wade in the first place,” Spike said. “A mass women’s movement, a mass workers movement, that striked, marched and demonstrated for the rights of women.”

Demonstrators echoed his sentiments during the noon protest, chanting “our body, our choice” while marching around the M.D. Anderson Library in the rain.

“It’s ridiculous that the state gets to tell us as women what we’re allowed or not allowed to do with our own bodies,” teaching and learning junior Leilani Cantu said.

During the later protest organized by SGA, director of external affairs David Ngyuen said similar things about why their organization stood up against the Republican dubbed heartbeat bill. 

“We’re offering our support and solidarity for every woman in Texas,” Ngyuen said. “People are usually against the heartbeat for religious reasons, and the legislature is mostly made up of men, who don’t have pregnancies or abortions. What do they know?”

Transgender students, like women and studies junior Ray Mattes, were at the later protest since SGA advocated for all reproductive rights, regardless of sexuality.

“Oftentimes, my trans brothers and sisters are forgotten about when lawmakers write laws about pregnancy or abortion,” they said. “Today, I’m here for anyone that can get pregnant, not just who SB 8 says can get pregnant.”

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