It was hard to miss them â€“â€“Â 18-foot tall anti-abortion billboards picturing aborted fetuses and condemnations of dehumanization towered over the Lory Student Center Plaza all day Tuesday.
The displays sparked intense reaction and debate from the dozens who pooled around to take a closer look, a reaction the pro-life organization Justice For All is used to.
JFA is based in Wichita, Kan. and visits campuses across the nation, exhibiting numerous disturbing photos of fetuses after an abortion. The organization last came to CSU in 2008.
They argue that upsetting thousands with their graphic photos is absolutely worth saving a few lives.
â€œWe all admit it is disgusting, but that is the point,â€ said Henry Shearon, a junior psychology major who stopped to see the display Tuesday afternoon. â€œIf those are real pictures, it is a tough pill to swallow because then this is way more than just an issue of choice.â€
Daniel Pott, president of Students for Life, the CSU organization that brought JFA to campus, said that SFLâ€™s goal is to educate the public.
â€œI believe abortion is terrible for the child, as well as for women,â€ said Pott, a construction management major. â€œI am doing what I can to stop that. We are here for people who are seeking help.â€
â€œThe children do not have a voice. We are defending the rights of all,â€ Pott added.
Members of JFA were out on the Plaza at 6 a.m. setting up its virtual exhibit.
The posters argued â€“â€“Â citing medical opinions â€“â€“Â that human life begins at conception, that men and women should be aware of the implications of unprotected sex and put capital punishment, animal testing and abortion on the same level of immorality.
The group placed several signs in areas previewing the display for students. On one side, the signs warned of the graphic photos ahead, and on the other, displayed a phone number â€“â€“ 888-922-1010 â€“â€“Â for people hurting from abortion to call for confidential help.
JFA made a Free Speech Board available for students to share their thoughts on issues surrounding abortion. They also had a microphone that helped to create dialogue between both perspectives by asking questions and talking to students.
One student suggested that a possible way to change peopleâ€™s perceptions about abortion is through a change in law.
Trent Horn, from JFA, answered, â€œIf youâ€™re going to change human thought, you have to change policies. But you also have to change their hearts.â€
Shearon said that while people argue all the time about abortion this rhetoric doesnâ€™t really give the subject any justice. â€œ … It is so much more than just the normal arguments presented by either side.â€
Maureen McKinley, a graduate of Arizona State University, was among 11 members from JFA involved in the set-up of the demonstration on CSUâ€™s campus.
â€œOur main purpose is to create dialogue about abortion and clarify questions about it,â€ McKinley said.
â€œAs far as the pro-choice protestors out here go, we are always excited to have people here who are just as passionate about abortion as we are,â€ she said. â€œIt takes courage.â€
Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.