The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Planned Parenthood visits TAMUSA, partners with student club for birth control awareness

Planned Parenthood visits TAMUSA, partners with student club for birth control awareness - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Brianna Chapa, graduate student and member of the Feminist Advocacy & Empowerment student organization, wears a Penny the Pill costume to promote safe sex while handing out condoms at a “Thanks, Birth Control Day” event Nov. 16, 2023, at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Photo by Lizbeth Avella

Kate Sanchez, manager of volunteers and community advocacy for Planned Parenthood South Texas, yelled “Safe sex is good sex!” as students lined up to grab free condoms, pregnancy tests, emergency contraceptives and Jason’s Deli sandwiches.

“Always practice safe sex,” said Brianna Chapa, graduate student and member of the Feminist Advocacy & Empowerment organization. Chapa wore a “Penny the Pill” sandwich-board-style costume designed to look like a package of birth control pills.

Chapa was one of the FAE members speaking loudly about the options in practicing safe sex during the celebration of “Thanks, Birth Control” Day on Nov. 16 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s East Lawn sidewalk.

Planned Parenthood joined FAE in hosting the event for students, staff and faculty of A&M-San Antonio.

Young people in Texas are not OK with their reproductive autonomy being taken away, and organizations like FAE and Planned Parenthood are making sure people’s “reproductive health and safety is taken care of,” said Sanchez.

“We’re going to flip the script,” Sanchez said.

She reached out to several surrounding universities about partnering for “Thanks, Birth Control” Day, and A&M-San Antonio was the first to reply and participate. The annual movement was launched by Power to Decide, a national nonprofit for reproductive health and freedom.

The music of Doja Cat played over speakers as students walked to and from Esperanza Hall.

Cejas chanted “Yay, safe sex!” and “Thank you, birth control!” to gain students’ attention.

They stopped at the pink sequined table FAE and Planned Parenthood set up, but before picking up anything they were asked to scan their IDs. By scanning their IDs, students would get updated information and emails about when Planned Parenthood would visit the campus again.

The laid-back event was organized to make students feel comfortable talking about safe sex.

Fatima Martinez, biology freshman, said “seeing a bunch of women together” made her want to attend the event.

It was not an event solely for women, though. Students were able to pick up pinback buttons that read “They/Them,” “She/Her” and “He/Him.” Some of the first attendees to show up were young men, and different types of condoms were being given out.

Martinez appeared excited to learn that they had colorful condoms.

Some students took the time to look through all the different types of condoms. Dental dams, a form of internal condoms for females, were available for students to grab. Students were also picking out the most flavorful contraceptives like chocolate, banana and Coke. Others looked for glow-in-the-dark condoms but had no luck finding them.

Students were able to ask questions about practicing safe sex. Sanchez was open and helpful to students as she answered their questions.

Hayde Gonzalez Cejas, President of FAE, said “We are a feminist organization that does not get much help to host events. Working with Planned Parenthood to host this event was a perfect opportunity to be an advocate about options to practice safe sex for students.”

Jacqueline Rubil, business and marketing freshman, attended the event because she was “considering getting on birth control.”

Rubil received information on birth control and her options.

To obtain free over-the-counter contraceptives, visit any of the five Planned Parenthood locations in San Antonio. No questions are asked and an appointment is not needed.

According to JagSync, along with advocating for birth control, FAE also advocates for reproductive rights, equal pay and gender equality.

For more information about the Feminist Advocacy and Empowerment organization email or visit

About the Authors

Lizbeth Avella
Lizbeth Avella is a communications sophomore at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. When not at school, she enjoys traveling with her boyfriend, reading and watching movies. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career that allows her to travel and write about places and people that deserve a story.
Charley Gallegos
Charley Gallegos is a communications senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, minoring in Psychology. In addition to being a full-time student, she is currently doing an internship as the Admin/Social Media Coordinator with Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. After graduation, she plans to work in the journalism and broadcast industry. She has a passion for writing and reporting current events for our community. In her spare time, she spends quality time with her husband and children enjoying the beauty of life.

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