A bill stalled in committee in the Texas House attempts to define legal rights of fetuses.
By Geoffrey Hovatter
About 12 students for abortion rights or against abortion interacted with members of the Love of Truth Ministries April 15 at a demonstration in the mall
Dr. Daryl Rodriguez, president of Love of Truth Ministries, and four other volunteers held an anti-abortion demonstration to communicate their message about why and how having an abortion is wrong.
The group set up 12 posters in the mall west of Moody Learning Center showing photographs of live fetuses and aborted fetuses between seven and 18 weeks.
“We’re are telling people about the truth of abortion and educating people what it really is, that it’s murder that it’s a violation of human rights, it’s immoral and ultimately goes against the Bible and what God says about murder,” he said in an interview.
He also added that the group`s other goal is to promote the word of God to students willing to listen. Rodriguez said the group is here to talk about Jesus Christ.
The group has staged demonstrations here in the past displaying graphic material of dead fetuses.
These displays have caused complaints and some confrontations from students.
“One thing is we do like to bring images of both babies unborn, babies that are alive but also ones that have been aborted because we believe that abortion is something that is very hidden and people don’t see what abortion really is,” he said.
Some students attending the event questioned the group’s stance on what is considered a living human with rights.
When Rodriguez was showing a picture of dead fetuses at various stages to political science sophomore Zoe Caballero, he asked her, “When are they considered human?”
She replied that although they genetically make up a human being, they are not self-aware and don`t have the same rights as a living breathing person.
Other students supported the group’s demonstration and its message.
“I think that the child even though it’s not viable on its own and it requires the mother, it is still its own separate person, and even though it needs a mother, that person will be separate eventually,” art freshman Delia Moser said in an interview after talking to one of the volunteers.
During the demonstration, the group set up a booth where students could vote yes or no to reflect their support for or opposition to abortion.
Rodriguez said this allows students and volunteers to the have an open discussion on the issue. The tally for the poll was not available.
Rodriguez in an interview voiced support for a bill proposed in the Texas House of Representatives, HB 896. The bill is pending in committee and unlikely to get House approval.
The bill would deem any abortion illegal and the mother would be charged with manslaughter.
The bill states “A living human child, from the moment of fertilization on fusion of a human spermatozoon with the human ovum is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges.”
The crime for a woman or anyone who participates in helping an abortion would be charged with assault and criminal homicide.
Rodriguez said he would not have a problem with abortion becoming criminalized in Texas.
“I don’t have a problem with the criminalization of anybody that’s involved in abortion whether it be the mother or the abortionist,” Rodriguez said.
Some students said they were conflicted by a bill criminalizing abortions.
“This starts to create this belief in society that only certain people are worthy, and we need to understand that everybody is,” Moser said. “I want to see it outlawed, but I don’t think that it should that women should be punished for doing it if they do and if they feel like it’s their last resort.”
The three primary sponsors of the bill are Republicans Rep. Tony Tinderholt of District 94, Rep. Mike Lang of District 60 and Rep. Valoree Swanson of District 150.
Student Life Director Jacob-Aidan Martinez said no complaints were filed against Love of Truth Ministries during or after the demonstration and they followed all the procedural steps to host a demonstration.
Love of Truth Ministries has not yet scheduled a date for their next demonstration.