By Sarah Gonzalez Claytor, 2018 Next Generation Fellow
Originally from California, I feel fortunate to have grown up in a family where abortion was not a controversial topic. I don’t quite recall when I learned what it was, but my parents took it as a matter of fact that abortion was a medical decision between a womanand her doctor, and others’ opinions on the matter should not interfere with that decision.
When I got to Texas, I was already familiar with its hostile reputation towards women, people of color, and LGBTQ folk. Luckily for me, I fall into the Venn diagram of all 3, so I was highly motivated to tap into my communities of support. I volunteered with Planned Parenthood and the Austin chapter of the National Organization for Women, phone banking and GOTVing and protesting CPCs, and feeding my fire to fight on.
There is a rich history and resilient spirit in Texas activism, unlike anything else I’ve experienced. I’ve watched with anger and dismay over the years as medically unnecessary legislation has reduced the number of open clinics drastically. But I’ve also seen organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Texas rise up again and again to defend access to abortion.
Now more than ever, we need passionate, informed activists to organize and lift up abortion access. The Next Generation program has brought me together with other young people to learn and grow together as advocates for reproductive justice. These connections are one of the most valuable parts of Next Gen. I also appreciate the policy and advocacy experience that NARAL Pro-Choice TX is passing on to us.
The decision to have a child is momentous and life-changing. And the right to make that decision is a basic human right. I’m pro-abortion because nobody should have to have a child against their will, and I’ll keep advocating for reproductive rights until everyone in Texas and beyond has access to safe and legal abortions.