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What Changed These Texans' Minds on Abortion?

As their lives changed, opinions on abortion shifted for these four Texans.
Image via Flickr/Johannes Jander (CC BY-ND 2.0)
As their lives changed, opinions on abortion shifted for these four Texans.

From Texas Standard:

Yesterday, a new undercover video was released by the anti-abortion group targeting  Planned Parenthood. Shot in Austin, the video shows a doctor describing methods used to perform later-term abortions.

The video claims those methods violate the national  partial-birth abortion ban. Medical experts disagree. Nonetheless, the videos have been a key factor behind moves to  cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood chapters in Texas.

How you see these developments says a lot about how you feel about abortion rights. Positions appear so firmly fixed on the question of abortion that the so-called "conversation" appears moot. If there is anything resembling a debate over abortion, it seems that neither side is prepared to concede that there is anything left to debate.

Still, for a variety of reasons, some people across Texas eventually questioned their strongly-held beliefs on the abortions rights debate. Meet four people who were open to a change of heart. 

Listen to their stories in the audio player above.

Cynthia Caruso, 66, Episcopal priest:

"There was the news report of a child who was three years old — a towheaded kid, his face filled the TV screen — who had been beaten to death over the period of a week by his parents who thought he had demons. And I thought, I know what children do when they think their parents are mad – they scream 'Mommy, Mommy, I love you' and I could just picture that little child being beaten and screaming at his parents that he loved them. And I thought: it would have been better for him to never have been born."

Aaron Parker-Fasel, 42, computer support technician:

"My wife, who has since passed away, was disabled and her mom had considered getting an abortion ... I remember reading an opinion of Carl Sagan, obviously many years ago, and he said, 'Well, there aren't any brainwaves in the first three months.' That seemed like a pretty clear line for me.' But then Sally would say — my late wife — 'Yeah, but what about the potential?' And all of a sudden, that hard line became gray again."

Dayanis Corrales, 24, is from Cuba and works for a property management company:

"I hope God can forgive me one day, that he has mercy on me for the abortions I've had. When my husband found out I was pregnant, he asked me to have an abortion. I refused. I believe my relationship with God and my new values are more important than any marriage. After that, my husband left me, but I believe things happen for a reason – and this baby was made with love and I will love him."

Taylor Salewske, 20, College Student:

"My mom decided that I should be on birth control, and I was thinking, 'If I got pregnant, what do you think we would have done?' From that, my mom admitted to me that she had [an abortion]. My grandparents don't even know she had an abortion."

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
Emily Donahue is KUT’s news director. She has spent more than two decades in broadcast journalism and launched KUT’s news department in 2001. Previously, Emily was part of the Peabody-award winning team at Marketplace as producer of the Marketplace Morning Report. Since coming to KUT, Emily has overseen a doubling of the news staff and content, the accumulation of more than 50 local, national and international awards for journalistic excellence and served on several boards, including the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and as a member of the 2011 Texas Association of Broadcasters Open Government Task Force. Emily lives in Austin and is currently working on her Master’s in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.