Next Generation Spotlight – Samantha Roberts
– Samantha Roberts, Austin Area
Growing up, I was taught to be modest and polite. We did not talk about relationships or sex in my home because it was not “appropriate”. The most that I was taught was that men and women work like puzzle pieces and that I needed to be on birth control if I became sexually active. We did not discuss abortion, consent, or the anxiety I would feel purchasing the morning after pill years later. There have been numerous times where I have felt guilt, sadness, frustration, and anger because I did not feel empowered to make my own decisions when it came to my sex life or my reproductive future. I found my own voice and accepted that I do not have to feel any of these negative emotions as long as I am doing what is best for me and my life. I believe that other people, regardless of their orientation, should be able to shed the shame that many experience in striving for reproductive justice whether it be in accessing an abortion or receiving necessary medical treatment. My experiences and what I have learned is based on my own curiosity, which has encouraged me to form my own informed opinions on the reproductive movement in Texas. Looking at everything I have been able to accomplish because I had and still have the privilege of dictating my reproductive future inspires me to use my platform to ensure the same opportunities for other people in Texas. NextGen has taught me that the reproductive movement is inclusive and serves to educate and support everyone in making their own decisions about their reproductive futures, regardless of their situation or beliefs, because people deserve safe access to all of their healthcare needs. In the future, I hope to be a healthcare provider that continues to be a part of the repro movement in Texas so that my patients find comfort in knowing they are supported in all of their medical decisions, especially ones involving reproductive health.