Tigers for Life, TU Pro Choice react to S.B. 8 abortion ban

Members from both clubs voiced opinions on Sept. 20 through tabling and counter-protests

On Monday, Sept. 20, Tigers for Life launched a tabling event for mental health awareness. Reacting to this and the recently passed S.B. 8 abortion ban, TU Pro Choice set up a counter-protest.

Both groups used this event to explore new directions in which to take their respective clubs. However, Tigers for Life and TU Pro Choice had different accounts on what exactly happened that day.

The TU Pro Choice group began their protest next to the magic stones around 11 a.m.

“We decided we were going to protest after finding out that Tigers for Life was planning on doing a tabling event and also in the wake of Texas S.B. 8, which has severely restricted abortion access in Texas,” said Meg McDonald, president of TU Pro Choice. “We were out there for about four or five hours in total on Monday and then about two hours on Tuesday.”

At this event, members of the club stood outside with signs and handed out pamphlets with education about abortions. William Turner, secretary of TU Pro Choice, reflected on the positive feedback that the club got.

“You could tell that the community at large seemed glad we were there,” Turner said. “There were a few people that were a little confrontational with us, but overall, it was a good experience for everyone involved. I really hope that we can continue to do stuff like this in the future just so we can let everyone on campus know that we’re here and that we support their rights.”
The Tigers for Life group was not at their event until about 1 p.m. Their motivation in tabling was a source of confusion, as they handed out informational pamphlets pertaining to mental health awareness rather than abortion prevention.

Angelique Lopez, secretary of Tigers for Life, was in charge of organizing the event.

“I handed out papers with resources for mental health, counseling, school resources and ways that people could help people that might be considering suicide,” Lopez said.

The club left after about an hour. Giovanna Campolo, who was protesting with TU Pro Choice, recalled seeing middle-aged men handing out Bibles and then Tigers for Life leaving.

“On Monday when I showed up, there were three or four old men passing out Bibles,” Campolo said. “The police showed up and asked the men to leave because they did not have a permit from the dean of students. The police and one of the guys were arguing, and finally they left, and then I saw a TU Pro-Life member on the phone with somebody arguing.”
Despite this testimony, Tigers for Life said that the men were not involved with their event.

“No, no that didn’t happen,” Treviño said, referring to the men. “Rumors are so interesting. Nobody else came; it was just our secretary and a couple of members.”

TUPD chief Paul Chapa asserts that there were “non-Trinity individuals handing out Bibles” on campus on the day of the tabling event, but he was uncertain as to whether they were involved with Tigers for Life.

This event was telling as to the routes both of these groups are going to be taking in the future. Meg McDonald outlined her plans for TU Pro Choice to protest like this again.
“Going forward, we have a meeting every month, and we are hoping to organize some volunteer activities,” McDonald said. “The current bill has put a damper on our plans for volunteering, so we’re currently trying to see what we can do, but we’re trying to do some sort of fundraiser before the end of the semester to try to help. We aren’t sure what we will be able to help legally from the school, but we have our eye on several safe sex, birth control initatives and helping to acquire and distribute Plan B.”

Tigers for Life has been trying to diversify their stances to include various end-of-life issues.

“Especially because of what’s going on with COVID-19, mental health has been an issue, so I held a meeting last Wednesday just to remind everyone that being pro-life is not just caring about others’ lives but it’s also remembering your own dignity as a human being,” Lopez said.

Despite this push to expand topics covered within the club, Tigers for Life is still very much committed to anti-abortion programming.

“We recognize that the pro-life movement isn’t about just ending abortion but creating a system where we can support women,” Treviño said. “We need to provide a solution. It’s not just ‘Okay let’s make it illegal, that’s it.’”