Laredo community braces for effects of Roe V Wade decision

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - The Supreme Court’s decision has many speaking out, especially women, in our community.

On Friday, women and men took to the streets of downtown Laredo to protest the court’s decision to overturn the 50-year-old ruling of Roe V Wade. Many gathered at the steps outside federal court and in front of the San Agustin Plaza to march and to speak their mind. Attendees say people of all ages and backgrounds attended the rally.

Yordi Rodriguez Canales, one of the speakers at the march, says the ruling is unfair.

Canales says, “As a woman as a woman of color, I feel dehumanized I feel like a human’s everyday right to be able to control their bodies has been stripped away from me.”

She believes this decision will have long lasting repercussions in the future.

“Unfortunately, we are going to see more injury to women or people that can give birth and even death because of it”, said Canales.

Valerie Gonzalez, another protester says the decision on Friday is a setback to women’s rights.

Gonzalez says, “I think it’s years of work that have just been dismissed completely. I think for us it’s just a total disrespect of bottle anatomy and not just only for women that identify as such and has those sorts of experiences as well.”

Now what will this mean for the lone star state?

In Texas, the high court’s decision triggers a law that will ban nearly all abortions and make them a felony.

The “Trigger Law” was passed last year by the Texas legislature and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.

That means abortions will be outlawed in the state unless the mother’s life is in danger. It will make performing an abortion in Texas a felony crime. Doctors who perform abortions could face life in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Meanwhile, at the Laredo Life Pregnancy Center, they are preparing for the increase in women visiting their office daily.

Roughly 15 to 20 women walk through the center, but they are expecting a 40 percent increase with the overturn of Roe V. Wade.

Cynthia Garduno, executive director for the center, says they are expecting to see more women seeking help. Garduno says when people go online to search for pregnancy centers or abortion clinics in Laredo, their office’s name pops up.

However, it’s been nearly 20 years since the “New Women’s Center” in Laredo closed its doors. That was the only clinic that would provide abortions.

Garduno says, they are a different type of center.

“It’s because we are a resource and educational resource center for them for people that are looking for items or maybe for information or education for referrals for abortions”, said Garduno.

She says they serve to educate pregnant women on whether they decide to continue with the pregnancy or not.

“We never will say that you cannot have an abortion, or you can have an abortion.”

She says if a woman decides to move forward with the pregnancy, they will do the best they can to guide them.

The center provides diapers, baby formula, and clothes to women in need.

The closest centers for abortion to Laredo are in the states of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

On the other hand, the life center is asking the public for donations since they will see an increase in pregnant women at their center.

In the meantime, more rallies are expected to take place in Laredo whether it’s for those in favor or against this historical ruling.

Attendees of Friday’s rally say the ruling is much more than abortion, it’s about women’s rights.

“I was there with my wife and daughter and there were other families present that were upset with decision and potential policies that can enacted. People who spoke mentioned how this decision can lead to other decisions taking away people’s rights such as same sex marriage. Most importantly, how this decision affects people of color who already lack access to healthcare” Juan Livas, rally attendee said.

“It is amazing to see Laredoans come together with such swift action to defend reproductive health rights and bodily autonomy. As someone who has had an abortion and struggled coming out of Laredo to get to the closest clinic I am scared for us right now. It’s already so hard to have to find a way to San Antonio, cross a militarized checkpoint and then find the money for this service because it isn’t covered by health insurance. Imagine now that it is being banned how much harder it’ll be for Laredo. How much blood will be spilled for a ban that is only implemented to kill us? Laredo has a 33% poverty rate with most of them being single mothers. There are no help to care for children. They don’t care about children, or their lives. They care about control. They start with banning abortions, then making it a crime just so when you get arrested you’re unable to vote. This is taking more than one right. It is taking all of them” Silvia Castaños, rally attendee said.

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