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UTSA students call on university to take a stand on abortion rights

Abortion rights marchers at UTSA on Oct. 5, 2022.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Abortion rights marchers at UTSA on Oct. 5, 2022

Dozens of UTSA students on Thursday turned out to call on the University to take an official stand on abortion rights.

The students chanted pro-choice slogans as they marched through the campus. Some carried pro-choice signs, such as "Bans Off Our Bodies."

"We demand that UTSA take an official stance on the overturning of Roe V. Wade and the abortion ban in Texas. We demand UTSA to provide support to students seeking abortions," said march and rally leader Daleen Garcia.

Pro-choice Democratic District Attorney Joe Gonzales joined the students and asked for their support in the Nov. 8 election. Gonzales said he refuses to prosecute abortion cases involving a medical decision.

"My opponent has already said that he's going to prosecute everything on the books. Well, we now know this is a crime on the books and so it's important for everybody to get out to vote," he said in an interview with TPR

"The job of the district attorney is to enforce the laws on the books — not to create his or her own laws." said LaHood, as quoted in the 2022 Voters Guide from the League of Women Voters of the San Antonio area.

Students also want the university to remove misleading QR codes posted by organizations that once scanned direct students to clinics that do not provide abortions.

District Attorney Joe Gonzales poses with abortion rights marchers at UTSA on Oct. 6, 2022.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
District Attorney Joe Gonzales poses with abortion rights marchers at UTSA on Oct. 6, 2022

"I think that they should take a stand, especially if all these students here are wanting something to be passed to protect them if they do need to get abortions," said march leader was Carolyn Eckbaeck, "but also provide reproductive health care and provide more reproductive services for students."

Gonzales called the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas ban on abortions "absurd." He said no one is reporting abortions to local authorities.

"I've not heard of one case of someone being reported for making this decision," he said.

The students and Gonzales said the best way to turn the back the clock on abortion rights is through supporting pro-choice candidates and legislation.

UTSA administration did not respond to TPR's requests for comment on the students' demands.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian