*UPDATE* The group that sponsored the abortion billboards on the Plaza on April 29 and 30 was misidentified. The group that came was Justice for All, and not the Genocide Awareness Project. The Collegian regrets its error.
I know, I know: we all hate the impossibly tall photos of aborted fetuses that grace our campus every year. Never has anyone walked onto the plaza, seen the shameless pro-life agenda-pushing-people and said, “Why yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to see on my way to class.”
The group Justice For All (JFA) visited the CSU campus on Tuesday after being delayed due to the snow earlier in the month. They’re hard to miss, what with their graphic images that are stories tall smack dab in the middle of the LSC plaza. But in case you were lucky enough not to see them coming, don’t worry, there are signs proclaiming, “Warning: Graphic Images Ahead” around their display. The campaign aims to bring awareness and visualization to early and late-term abortions in the efforts to eradicate abortion nationwide.
While it does make a statement and seems to have no shortage of people willing to discuss the topic, I have to wonder how effective a very public display such as this is. Is it deterring any young women from getting an abortion, or just presenting disturbing images to unsuspecting students?
When seeing these images, all can agree that they are morbid and revolting. However, if I was pro-choice and in a situation in which I knew that I could not adequately care for a child that I was currently pregnant with, I don’t know if it would make me think twice. I would continue to be disgusted, but if you’re at a point where you’re willing to consider abortion, would pictures make you change your mind?
What startled me most was the fact that the JFA representatives that were speaking to CSU students were predominately male. I don’t mean this as any offense to men, but honestly, the only part of this conversation that you contribute in is conception. You will never know what it is like to be pregnant, through no fault of your own, but that is not a decision that you will ever have to make. So who are you to tell women what the right choice is?
I understand wanting to startle people enough to make them look. I admire the JFA reps that approached every student with respect; there was no yelling at students telling them that abortion is murder. However, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then the display that they had was yelling enough. I understand and can somewhat admire their agenda, but the way that they go about it is all wrong.
I am a student that wants to go to class without seeing gruesome photos of aborted fetuses. I wholeheartedly believe that the JFA is doing more harm than good, and is not leaving a good taste in the mouths of students when it comes to the pro-life viewpoint.
When it comes to abortion, both camps can talk until they’re blue in the face, but nothing is getting accomplished. Every conversation between pro-life and pro-choice ends in the conversation going in circles and really getting nowhere. We are young adults; many of us have formed opinions on this issue already; photos aren’t going to change that. Why is it that we can’t simply agree to disagree and move on?
But fellow CSU students: I expected more from you. I heard students yelling profanities at the reps, a show of blatant disrespect that does absolutely no good. Yelling at them did nothing — you don’t have to agree with them, but please don’t make the display worse. They’re doing it to get a response from students; even a negative one is only reinforcing their beliefs. If you don’t want an annual aborted fetus image display, the best thing to do is ignore them and move on. You don’t have to respect these representatives or their viewpoints, but at least don’t be disrespectful.
No one wants to see macabre pictures of abortions on their way to class. Many of us don’t particularly want to debate abortion in our free time. But since the JFA has as much of a right to speak their views as pro-choice folks do, at least be tolerant and don’t make it worse.
Brittany Jordan is a junior psychology major. He column appears every Thursday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.