Oct 042004
 
Authors: Karissa Ciarlelli

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

debates.

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

Plaza.

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

merchandising major.

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,”

Davis said.

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

eye-opener.”

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

important issues.”

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