In the cold of 7 a.m. on Tuesday, social work major Katie Kulcsar stood alone near the bike racks on the south side of the Lory Student Center holding a cup of coffee and looking out onto the Plaza.
As she waited, she made phone calls and sent text messages to fellow members of CSUâ€™s Advocates for Choice and to folks from the Campus Feminist Alliance and Fort Collinsâ€™ Planned Parenthood.
By calling, her intent was to grow a protest group against the visually-disturbing anti-abortion demonstration put on by Justice For All, JFA, a Kansas-based pro-life group that set up camp on the plaza all day
When she heard that JFA was coming to campus, CFA President Lexy Hall started a Facebook event that invited students to join in a protest against the display. On Monday afternoon, the group had 127 confirmed attendees.
And though only six joined Kulcsar in the counter-demonstration by 7:30 a.m., they said their message wasnâ€™t any less clear.
â€œMy intent today is not about arguing abortion. I donâ€™t agree with how they are displaying their views with the graphic billboards,â€ said Kulcsar, a member of Advocates for Choice, a group closely associated with Planned Parenthood. â€œI am pro-choice. I am very much about prevention.â€
Among those represented were Advocates for Choice, CSUâ€™s Young Democrats and the Campus Feminist Alliance, CFA, an â€œorganization of dedicated, committed and active feminists,â€ according to the organizationâ€™s website.
CFAâ€™s main goal is to provide support for one another and provide a place for people to add their voices in the fight against sexual assault.
By 10 a.m., the group had signs and people advocating for pro-choice, passing out condoms and fliers next to JFAâ€™s demonstration. It also posted fliers on doors around the LSC, which read, â€œGraphic Images on Plaza. Caution: Alternate Routes Advised.â€
The protestors wrote, â€œOur bodies, our choice,â€ in chalk around the exhibit and areas on the Plaza.
CFA also publically disputed Coloradoâ€™s Personhood Amendment 62, which says â€œthe term â€œpersonâ€ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.â€
The amendment focuses on sections of the Constitution discussing inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law.
â€œAmendment 62 would take away all reproductive rights. We need to have the right to choose,â€ said former CFA President Lara Adamson, arguing that sometimes, itâ€™s not always a womanâ€™s choice to be pregnant.
The mix of JFA and protestorsâ€™ positions on abortion created a crowded Plaza of students debating with one another.
Brandon Gustafson, a sophomore communications major, was impartial about the 18-foot posters displaying aborted fetuses.
â€œI am not entirely sure how I feel, but I think people should be able to make their own choices regarding abortion,â€ Gustafson said.
â€œI do not think it is fair for some people who have had miscarriages or abortions to see what is on the posters,â€ said Adamson, a human development, womenâ€™s studies and pre-law major. â€œWe just donâ€™t want people to fall for their scare tactics.â€
Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.