Emotions and passion ran high as the ever-controversial issues
of abortion and women’s rights brought the CSU community together
to express opinions through mild discussions and heated
The 18-foot tall photo exhibit of bloody aborted fetuses,
sponsored by anti-abortion group Justice For All, stirred
controversy in the Lory Student Center Plaza Monday. JFA, a
traveling student organization from Kansas, will be at CSU through
Wednesday to present its message that abortion is inhumane.
The university does not endorse the display, which is presented
on the campus free-speech area.
“The reason why we are here is to create awareness about the
truth of abortion, and the college-age group is the largest
demographic group involved in abortion,” said Tammy Cook, director
of field operations and spokeswoman for JFA. “We want students to
be fully informed about what abortion is. We also want to help
people realize that engaging in sexual intimacy outside of marriage
could endanger the life of a child.”
Groups in opposition to JFA, including Life and Liberty for
Women and Pro-Choice CSU, also voiced their opinions on the
Peggy Loonan, founder and executive director of Life and Liberty
for Women, said making abortion illegal would have negative
repercussions. The Fort Collins nonprofit group’s focus is to
emphasize birth control research and availability and to reduce
unintended pregnancies, she said.
Some students were outraged by what they said was a “visual
assault,” and groups such as Campus Women’s Alliance held up signs
encouraging people to avoid walking through the Plaza.
“We’re speaking out to the visual offensiveness of the display.
It’s very shocking,” said Carlene Ostedgaard, a senior design and
Sonya Henriksen, a junior history major, agreed.
“It does not matter if you are pro-life or pro-choice. It’s
offensive regardless,” Henriksen said.
Justin Davis, a senior criminal justice major, admitted that the
display is highly graphic but said he is in favor of it because he
finds it educational.
“(The display is) in your face for a reason because (abortion)
is happening and we need to quit burying our heads in the sand,”
Jim Spencer, the general counsel for JFA, said the organization
promotes justice for everyone, including unborn children.
“We’re here to create debate about abortion and to get people to
think more deeply about important issues and choices that they
might be facing right now,” he said.
Crystal Deidker, a junior health and exercise science major,
said the display has influenced her opinions on abortion. She said
that while she still supports abortion, she would be more hesitant
to get an abortion herself.
“The pictures do speak monuments,” she said. “It’s definitely an
Spencer said instead of worrying about offending people, he
worries more about people being apathetic.
“Passion is good. Apathy is bad,” he said. “And CSU is not an
apathetic campus. We’ve had some excellent discussions, and we
appreciate the willingness of the student body to engage in these