Q1. What inspired you to get involved in abortion rights, health, and justice in Texas?
When I attended the Austin Women’s March last October, I found a community of people equally as enraged as I was. Following SB 8, I was really angry and not sure where to channel that frustration. Having the opportunity to use my platform in Texas Speech (being surrounded by so many brilliant teammates also engaged in advocacy), and as an intern at the State Capitol motivated me to take advantage of the resources I have at my disposal to try to create tangible change.
Q2. This summer, you were an intern for Texas House Rep. Donna Howard’s office. Can you tell us about your experience working there? And, what tips would you give to other teens who are interested in an internship at the Texas Legislature?
Interning with Rep. Howard was an amazing experience! Her office is truly devoted to public service, especially for the women of Texas. I was lucky enough to get to work with The Texas Women’s Health Caucus post-Dobbs and learned so much about what it truly takes to support marginalized communities. If you’re interested in working with Texas Legislature I highly recommend the Texas Politics Project website! It’s updated consistently with new internship postings from representatives, senators, and non-profits!
Q3. The Dobbs decision and abortion bans will further isolate young people and prevent them from seeking support for an abortion. How can parents, relatives, friends, and older siblings communicate to the young people in their lives that they are someone they can trust to get support with abortion, birth control, or plan b?
The best thing you can do to show you’re willing to support those who find themselves in a vulnerable position right now is to approach their situation with no judgment whatsoever. Too often, assumptions are made about what “kind” of people require these resources, making them hesitant to ask for help. Understand that your place is to get the young people in your life in touch with the resources they need, not condemn them for circumstances beyond their control.
Q4. What advice would you give to teens who want to feel more confident about supporting abortion rights on their high school campus… but might feel a little intimidated now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned?
Your voice is needed now more than ever. Know that your school can’t retaliate against you if you express your views in a civil way. Forming an afterschool club or interest group with a teacher sponsor would be an amazing way to show your support! There are probably people on your campus that have a personal connection to this issue and badly need an ally right now. Show them you’ll stand up for what you know is right.
Q5. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a youth organizer?
My generation has a lot more influence than they think they do.
Q6. What would you like to do next as you continue organizing around reproductive rights in Texas?
Right now, I’m hoping to address post-abortion care for minors who are left feeling isolated and confused following the abortion process and direct more attention and funding towards hubs for abortion tourism like Illinois and New Mexico. I also plan on continuing to use speech as an avenue for my advocacy to reach as many people as I can.