Students declare abortion images ‘too disturbing’
“Genocide Awareness Project”
The title evokes images of emaciated bodies, sullen eyes, death camps, and insatiable hatred. The Holocaust, Rwanda, Armenia, Holodomer, Bosnia, and more have claimed the lived of millions of men, women, and children in the most gruesome and horrific slaughtering known to man.
Now what would you do if you went to the event and saw this?
This is exactly what students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington endured on April 8, 2015. Two of the campus’ clubs, Ratio Christi and the College Republicans, sponsored the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s (CBR) graphic images on campus.
“These images need to be shown because most people do not realize what abortion looks like,” said Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR’s Project Director.
The images were set along Chancellor’s Walk, the campus’ central walkway. Students who need to walk along the way to get to class or Wagoner Dining Hall were shocked to see the images looming ten feet high.
In CBR’s defense, they did place signs on either side of their site such as the one below.
“We’ve looked at history and seen the Martin Luther King Jr. put his marches in cities where he knew police would attack them and the photographic images would be shown across the nation,” said Brandenburg when asked why the images where chosen for this event.
Brandenburg continued to draw parallels between abortion and racism by stating that, like racism, abortion “will not be rejected in America until it is seen.”
“Regardless of your views on the legality of abortion, labeling the procedure a form of genocide is a disgusting distortion and misuse of the term,” said Senior Caitlyn Hall.
The graphic images were much discussed and it seems that student opinion leans largely to the negative.
“I’d like to call for a collective moment of silence for the brain cells that died looking at the pro-life fear mongering propaganda that sullied this beautiful day,” wrote an anonymous student on YikYak, a popular social media app.
Representing the dissenting students, UNCW’s Feminist Student Organization rapidly organized an anti-protest to warn students of the disturbing images and present an opposing view.
“We are mostly pro-choice over here, but we don’t want to shove our opinions down peoples’ throats,” said student Kristina Dailey.
The mostly-female group walked about Chancellor’s Walk holding signs and talking with students as seen bellow.
The general argument of nonaffiliated students seems to be that, while the two clubs and the organization have a right to hold their own opinion, the extremely graphic images were gruesome and should not have been displayed in a location in which students did not have a choice in viewing the material.
“These are trigger-images,” explained Dailey.
The concern is that these pictures will trigger violent emotions in students who have had abortions, miscarriages, personal history with mass killings, or other similar situations. These students have the right to learn in a safe environment the same as their peers and these images prevent this.
Protestors such as the Feminist Student Organization targeted this issue and warned students about the photographs in an attempt to prevent any emotional triggers.
“Shout out to all the girls on Chancellors promoting pro-choice. I was almost brought to tears by the love y’all are showing the female student body. Respect,” wrote another anonymous student on YikYak.
Other students decided to be proactive as well. A group of non-affiliated students set up a table in front of Leutze Hall, not 100 feet from the CBR’s display. They stated that they would be giving out free candy, water, and condoms until the conclusion of the “Genocide Awareness Project”.