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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Pro-life, in all aspects

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Photo by Photo courtesy of Pro-life Aggies

What’s next for the pro-life movement in Texas? Assistant opinion editor Ryan Lindner says the future lies in addressing the root causes of abortion, and the perfect case study is right here in College Station. 

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022 and the subsequent Texas trigger law banning almost all abortions in the state, the question remains: What is the next step for the pro-life movement in Texas?

Throughout the last 50 years, the objective was clear — stop abortions by repealing Roe v. Wade, and then lobby state legislatures to outlaw the procedure. It was a straightforward and effective game plan. But with victory comes the need to refocus on new goals.

For the pro-life movement, the perfect case study is right here in College Station.

According to the on-campus student organization, Pro-Life Aggies, or PLA, the plan is to create a “culture of life” in Aggieland and statewide. This starts not just with fighting against abortion but, more importantly, addressing the underlying reasons a woman may consider the procedure.

Political science senior and president of PLA Grace Howat said she wasn’t originally pro-life, but after studying fetal development and abortion methods, she realized that “life does start at conception, and that life is valuable and worthy of protection and that abortion is wrong.”

She went on to say that one of the main goals of PLA is to provide women with the resources and support to choose life.

“We as pro-lifers need to be there for women and children both before and after birth,” Howat said. “Our second mission right now is just to love all those women and make sure they know there are people here for them who are willing to help them through pregnancy and after pregnancy and be with them at every step.”

In keeping with this goal, PLA recently announced its annual Pregnant and Parenting Student Scholarship results, which raised $20,000 from bake sales, profit shares, their annual 5K Fun Run and private donations. The money was then given to 14 applicants currently enrolled at A&M or Blinn who are either pregnant or parenting.

When asked about what other services PLA provides, biomedical engineering senior and vice president of PLA Jackson Roberson pointed to the free babysitting they do during the academic year, allowing parenting students to go to class without worrying about paying for expensive daycare.

For Jackson, the spine of the pro-life movement is its desire to serve women in need and address the root causes of abortion.

“What gives us validity is that we’re not just there to protest [abortion], but we’re there to help,” Jackson said. “I think that should be truly the heartbeat of what we do is to serve pregnant parenting students, moms and preborn kids.”

Aside from the work done by PLA, many other resources in the College Station area, such as Hope Pregnancy Center and the Elizabeth House Maternity Home, focus exclusively on helping women with the struggles of pre and post-pregnancy. From free pregnancy tests, counseling and health services to baby supplies and educational assistance, there’s a place in Bryan-College Station willing to help.

So, what does all this say about the pro-life movement in general? If anything, it provides a roadmap for the recentering of the movement away from being seen as only anti-abortion to being pro-life in all aspects. That means supporting soon-to-be mothers, caring for current ones and creating an environment where children are considered blessings, not burdens.

The sadness of abortion is that it’s always pointed toward a deeper problem in our society. Most women who undergo the procedure are not doing it carelessly or because they don’t believe it’s a big deal. They do it because they see no other realistic alternative. Life is complicated, scary and often cruel. Bringing another human into the world can seem like the death of all personal goals and aspirations.

The purpose of the pro-life movement should be to build a culture that understands and respects these concerns without bringing shame. It must provide a support system with a clear message reassuring all women that they aren’t alone. Whether through volunteerism, lobbying the state legislature to pass bills alleviating some of the natural struggles of parenting or providing monetary and health resources, the child and mother’s well-being should always be front and center.

Outlawing abortion was never going to be enough. The strong arm of the law is no substitute for the helping hands of a supportive community. As the saying goes, “It takes a village,” and the work is only just beginning.

Ryan Lindner is a political science sophomore and assistant opinion editor for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Lindner
Ryan Lindner, Head Opinion Editor
Ryan Lindner is a political science senior from Hutto, Texas, minoring in history. Ryan joined The Battalion as an opinion columnist in June 2022  until he became the Assistant Opinion Editor for the Spring 2023 semester. Since July 2023, Ryan has been The Battalion's Head Opinion Editor. Ryan has covered a range of topics, from local politics and campus culture to national issues, such as school choice and drug policy. After graduation, Ryan hopes to pursue a master's degree in international affairs.
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