On Wednesday and Thursday, CSU students walking through the Lory Student Center Plaza will be exposed to a sensitive topic: Abortion.
Students for Life (SFL), a CSU student organization, has invited the pro-life group Justice For All to host an “Abortion: From Debate to Dialogue” event on the Plaza.
The group has visited CSU in past years, displaying an exhibit of 18-foot tall panels on the Plaza. Volunteers attempt to engage students in dialogue, according to Justice For All’s website. This year, the Campus Feminist Alliance and Students Uniting for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) will hold a counter-protest on the Plaza both days.
According to Jonathan Carlyon, an associate professor of Spanish literature and faculty advisor for SFL, they wanted to bring Justice For All to campus, “because students are concerned about the lives of the unborn.”
“SFL members will help put up the JFA display, and be on the Plaza whenever possible in order to help facilitate respectful dialogue on this important issue of life,” said Miles Cole, a sophomore philosophy major and vice president of SFL.
The exhibit, which contains graphic images of unborn and aborted fetuses, stirred up controversy in past years.
Carlyon said the shocking pictures are important because they bring awareness and can change someone’s viewpoint.
“On Saturdays at Planned Parenthood, the big black truck comes and takes away the fetuses –– like a big black dump truck,” Carlyon said. “Most people don’t realize that there is an actual little person in there disposed like garbage.”
Carlyon said seeing Justice For All’s exhibit can be the difference in someone’s choice to have an abortion or not.
“If so many students are truly uncomfortable with the graphic nature of abortion as revealed by the JFA exhibit, then why do the majority of college students think abortion should be legal and widely available?” Cole said.
The Campus Feminist Alliance and Students Uniting for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) plan to counter-protest on the Plaza both days.
“The billboards they put up are a huge distraction among the student body,” said Meagan Como, a senior business marketing major and president of SURJ. “They cause a lot of unnecessary heated arguments, and their posters are insensitive to any woman who may have had an abortion.”
SURJ is asking students who disagree with Justice For All’s message to wear pink and not engage with the group.
“We will also have flyers letting people know how they can support their local clinics,” Como said. “And where they can go to get any sexual health questions they have answered.”
Como said SURJ members are not going out on the Plaza to “pick a fight or make a scene,” just to represent the other side of the issue, and encourage the student body to educate themselves on both sides.
“We just want to make a point that there could be better, more mature, sensitive ways JFA could accomplish that,” Como said. “And hopefully we can work on making that happen in the future. Until then, we have to let them know we aren’t going to accept this on our campus.”
Collegian writer Emily Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Abortion: From Debate to Dialogue” event
-Hosted by pro-life group Justice For All
-April 11 and 12
-18-foot tall panels on the LSC Plaza
-Volunteers want to engage students in discussion