What Changed These Texans’ Minds on Abortion?

Four Texans share their personal turning points.

By Joy Diaz & Emily DonahueOctober 28, 2015 8:56 am

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.”