Sep 242006
 
Authors: Stephanie Gerlach The Rocky Mountain Collegian

A controversial anti-abortion group that’s been to CSU before is set to be at the Lory Student Center Plaza again, today through Wednesday.

Justice For All, a group that uses attention-grabbing tactics such as displaying 18-foot-tall posters of aborted fetuses, states it views abortion more as a moral issue than a religious issue.

“Abortion is one of the most relevant issues facing college students,” said Rebeccah Pedrick, a Justice for All spokeswoman. “What better place to dialogue about it than a college campus?”

However, many students, even those opposed to abortion, question the group’s tactics.

“I’m pro-life and I was offended,” said Matt Van Cleave, a senior civil engineering major who remembers the group’s previous visit.

“They didn’t just cross the line, they took a running start and jumped over. It’s way too much,” he said.

Saira Henry, a senior music and theater double major, said it’s good the group is passionate about its cause, but that better ways of bringing about change exist than displaying gruesome images.

“Rather than using scare tactics, it would be more effective if they talked to people about it and used more information to share their message,” she said.

Justice for All claims people do not have all the facts surrounding abortion and need more information.

Voices for Planned Parenthood and the Campus Feminist Alliance, which are in opposition to Justice for All, also will be on the Plaza to give students information about abortion and family planning.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Daniel Kessler said his organization believes that Justice for All is an anti-abortion extremist group.

“They do not educate students on how they can avoid unintended pregnancy,” he said. “The only way to do that is to provide medically accurate information and contraception.”

There has been a lot of verbal sparing in previous years between the abortion rights and anti-abortion groups, according to Mari Strombom, the director of Student Involvement and Activities.

“There were a lot of people yelling and crying,” she said of past exhibitions by Justice for All. “It was pretty emotional.

“One time, a guy actually jumped the barricade and slapped a sticker on the display. I don’t know what the sticker said, but people were worried because they didn’t know what he was going to do.”

But supporters of Justice for All don’t feel that the images they display should be censored.

“We call them the ‘images we love to hate,'” Pedrick said. “There are some injustices that go unnoticed when they’re not talked about.

“We’ve lost the picture of what abortion is. Our goal is to put a face back on the word ‘abortion.'”

Staff writer Stephanie Gerlach can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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