The CU campus is heating up as students and organized groups are voicing their opinions on prominent issues.
On Monday, a giant anti-abortion display was placed on Norlin Quad in front of Hellems. It has caused passionate reactions from students on all sides of the issue.
Justice For All, a national pro-life organization, erected the large and graphic displays in an area with a large amount of student traffic. The displays feature pictures of aborted fetuses, quotes from Planned Parenthood and various doctors, and a “Justice Quiz.”
Tammy Cook, a Justice For All mentor, said, “We’re here to try to show the injustice of abortion, and what is happening to these unborn children.”
“We’re out here asking what the students think,” Cook said. “What do they think about abortion? When do they think we become a human?”
Reactions varied as students walked past the exhibit: Some only gave it a passing glance, while others shouted complaints.
Helen Hootkins, a junior environmental studies major, said she thinks that such displays do not belong on CU’s campus.
“I just think it’s wrong that this is here at all,” Hootkins said. “I think it’s blatant propaganda. It’s scare tactics. This shouldn’t be allowed to be on campus.”
Hootkins and a group of students sat in front of the Justice For All display with their own signs, which said, “My Body, My Country, My Choice.”
Laine Bulakites, a 20-year-old junior advertising major, also part of Hootkins group, said that they used a different method to get their viewpoint across.
“The fact that only one view is being represented in such a graphic way is ridiculous,” Bulakites said. “We just wanted to sit here quietly with our signs and provide another view. People have been smiling and saying thank you to us.”
A number of Justice For All volunteers were present at the exhibit, talking to students and answering questions that occasionally led to hour-long debates.
“We agree that abortion is very complex emotionally and psychologically,” Cook said. “But morally it is very simple, we have to decide, if we are going to kill something, what is it?”
Justice for All was invited to the CU campus by League for Life, a campus club started by Tiana Miller-Jackson, 22, a senior in mechanical engineering.
“Abortion is a very hush-hush topic,” Miller-Jackson said. “People don’t talk about it because those discussions really easily escalate into arguments, and it’s easy to offend people.”
Miller-Jackson said that her club brought Justice for All to CU in order to open that discussion, and allow students to express their opinions about a topic that is not usually discussed.
“We want to show people what is really going on every day in America,” Miller-Jackson said. “Before I encountered Justice for All, I wasn’t necessarily pro-life, I was kind of on the fence. But they [the displays] brought the issue to me in such a real way, and I can’t forget what I’ve seen now. I can never forget it.”
Though the displays are graphic, Miller-Jackson said that they are not meant to scare people, but rather to put a face on abortion.
A poll was set up near the exhibit, asking, “Should abortion remain legal?”
Stephen Wagner, a Justice for All mentor, said that though it appeared that there were more signatures on the “yes” side, the question was mostly a way to start conversations with students and get clarification on their opinions.
“The question is pretty polarizing, but one of our goals is to remake the abortion debate in America,” Wagner said. “We’re pro-life advocates, we think that abortion is wrong and that it should be illegal. But if the people starting the conversation act like good ambassadors, we can have a better discussion and maybe we can resolve some things.”
Eddie Rodriguez, a 22-year-old senior English major, said that he felt the Justice for All display could have been done in a less graphic manner.
“It’s too in-your-face,” Rodriguez said. “I agree with some of the things they’re saying, but I think there’s a better way of going about it. This is just for shock value.”
For more information on Justice For All visit their website at http://www.jfaweb.org.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Hadley Vandiver at Hadley.firstname.lastname@example.org.