Reversing Roe could strengthen Hispanic families, pro-life leader believes

Ramona Treviño Ramona Treviño is a former employee of Planned Parenthood who is now a leading Hispanic pro-life advocate. | Courtesy of Ramona Treviño

Reversing Roe v. Wade could strengthen the Hispanic community in the United States, according to Ramona Treviño, a former manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic who is now a prominent Hispanic pro-life advocate.

Treviño’s said her reasoning is that her former employer intentionally focuses on promoting abortion to minorities, especially Hispanics and African Americans. Together, these two minority groups account for more than half of the abortions performed every year in the United States, well above their collective one-third share of the U.S. population, she noted.

“Our communities are already very affected as a result of legal abortion, because that hurts the family a lot, it hurts our culture a lot,” Treviño said.

“In Hispanic communities they are selling the lie that abortion is a solution for women. But it’s not a solution, it causes more pain, it causes addictions,” she said. In contrast, she added, “a woman who chooses life and says 'yes' feels more empowered."

Treviño and other Hispanic pro-life leaders will be watching closely on Dec. 1 when U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which focuses on the constitutionality of a Mississippi state law that prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life advocates see Dobbs as one of the best opportunities to date to reverse Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

For Treviño, the chance to overturn Roe is deeply personal.

Though she says he never favored abortion herself, in 2008, eager to get back into the workforce after having a child, she took a job as a clinic manager for Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas. The location she worked at didn’t perform abortions, she says, but she referred women to abortions and helped distribute contraceptions there for three years.

Then an experience listening to the Guadalupe Radio Network opened her eyes to the connection between contraceptives and abortion.

“And that’s when I realized that abortion and contraception are two sides of the same coin,” Treviño said in an earlier interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency. “It was like a challenge to my faith, to what I thought. That's where it all started.”

These pangs of conscience led Treviño to confess her involvement with abortion and contraception, quit her job, and ultimately become a pro-life advocate. She later wrote a book detailing her journey, "Redeemed by Grace: A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back” (Ignatius Press, 2015), which is available in English and Spanish.

A third-generation American with Mexican roots, Treviño says the pro-life perspective runs strong in Hispanic culture because of its focus on the family.

Treviño pointed to her own family as an example. “My mother lives with me, my oldest daughter lives with me with her baby. She’s a single mother and she is 26 years old, she just had her baby. It was a crisis pregnancy for her, but we were with her here, supporting her, and she is here with her baby, with my granddaughter, my first granddaughter.”

“In my house, my home, we have been living here for several generations. That’s part of our culture and whatever may be, whatever the times, the generations, although we live here in the United States, as Hispanics [family] is what we value the most,” she continued.

"And abortion destroys all of that.”

The racist roots of abortion in America

Treviño said she wasn’t aware when she worked for Planned Parenthood that the motives of the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, were “rooted in racism.”

 For decades, Planned Parenthood defended the legacy of its founder, referring to Sanger as a "hero of the 20th century."

More in US

"Margaret Sanger changed the world, forever and for the better," says a 2009 document from the multinational abortion provider.

Between 1966 and 2015, Planned Parenthood presented the "Margaret Sanger Award" as a "recognition of leadership, excellence, and extraordinary contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement." Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are among the recipients of the award.

It would not be until 2020 that Planned Parenthood began to acknowledge Sanger's racist legacy by removing her name from one of their facilities in New York.

Although the Planned Parenthood facility where Treviño worked didn’t perform abortions, she stressed that abortion organizations "have a quota" of abortions that have to be performed.

"I discovered this at a meeting with the directors of various Planned Parenthood clinics. Of all the directors, only two worked in abortion centers, the rest were centers like ours," she recalled.

"So those two directors told us, 'The number of abortions has gone down and you have to ... work hard to see how we can improve those numbers,'" she said.

“So I was appalled, because I thought: 'Wait a minute, aren't we working on trying to prevent abortion, to reduce the number of abortions? We want it to be legal, of course, we want it to be safe, accessible, but we don't want high numbers, right?'"

(Story continues below)

But she said it soon became clear to her that “this is a lie, and this is what I want people to understand: It’s an abortion industry. They don't make money on prevention.”

It’s in the interest of abortionists, she said, "to keep pushing this idea of sex without limits, casual sex."

When young women, including 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old girls came to Planned Parenthood clinics, she recalled, “we weren't in the business of trying to help you, give you advice, advice on keeping your baby or putting it up for adoption.”

Instead, Treviño said, these young women are told "‘the best thing for you is to have an abortion, because you’re very young,’ and we give them all the excuses and all the justifications to try to convince them that abortion is the best solution."

Treviño said that currently abortion organizations "are afraid that they’re going to lose their money."

Their "industry," she said, is not helping women or giving them "a voice to choose," but "it’s abortion, abortion, abortion and it’s about millions and millions of dollars."

Our Lady of Guadalupe's role

Treviño highlights the importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “our patroness of the unborn,” and her Hispanic heritage in her returning to the Catholic Church.

“Lately I realized what a blessing it was for me, thinking about my roots, like my great-grandparents who came from Mexico and their ancestors,” she said.

“And for that, for that reason, I’m Catholic. In other words, you can’t say a 'new' Catholic because I was baptized a Catholic. But it was not long ago, 10 years ago, that I had my conversion and now my faith is strong, " she said.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, she said, "is listening to our prayers and here also in what has happened in Texas," with the Heartbeat Law, which almost completely restricts abortion in that state.

However, she confessed, “it breaks my heart” to see the advance of abortion in Mexico.

“I don't want to see what has happened here for the last 50 years in Mexico and throughout Latin America. The destruction of the family is the worst thing that has happened and we see it everywhere, and it affects both women and men, even grandparents and children,” she lamented.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.