(To be clear, I do not have a problem with pro-life people in general. It's this specific display that raises my hackles.)

To get to my second class, I have to walk through my university's student center plaza. There's always something going on there--credit card companies trolling for debt victims, Greeks recruiting, local newspapers selling student subscriptions, blah blah blah. Every semester, though, one particular group sets up what I think is a really disturbing display. So I knew when I saw the sign saying "Graphic Photos Ahead" exactly what the photos were: the anti-abortion people were at it again. A few steps more, and I could see smears of blood-red through the trees.

These people set up billboard sized props, literally taller than the student center, with extremely graphic, gruesome photos. These are the people who compare abortion to the Holocaust, and try to drive that point home with bloody pictures of fetuses and fetal body parts. It's disgusting. I'm really not sure why it's allowed--freedom of speech is awesome, but there's a difference, in my mind, between freedom of speech and the sorts of images used here. I don't feel like this group is aiming for discussion or debate--they're going for shock value and disgust.

Around their construct, they have a series of metal crowd control barriers, and behind those are people participating. These people try to engage people passing by, sometimes by yelling into the crowd, sometimes by arguing at the top of their lungs with people in the crowd. I've seen them with bullhorns. I thought about giving them a piece of my mind one year, until I heard the most obnoxious person spouting bible verses in response to reasoned discussion. Another time, I heard something literally SCREAMING over the top of the person they were "debating". Basically, these people completely dominate the plaza with their huge, highly-visible structure; then they assault the ears in a variety of ways.

Every year I see this, it just pisses me off. If they had a booth, or were waving posters, or passing out literature, okay. But the graphic, screaming-for-attention nature of the photos seems beyond the bounds of good taste, and every year I question why my university allows this. If someone were protesting the war and wanted to use pictures of slaughtered soldiers, would that be allowed? Probably not. I've never seen PETA or any other group with building-sized slaughterhouse placards on campus. So why is this okay?

One year, this group also paid to put an insert in the school's daily paper. The insert, actually, was bigger than the paper. It contained all the typical propaganda--like the fact that Margaret Sanger was a follower of eugenics, as if that matters in the current context. There were a bunch of them, but I think my absolute favorite was the assertion that birth control pills are a form of abortion. Oh, apparently IUDs are too.

So what caused me to label them douchebags rather just jerks I disagree with? Well, those signs warning people of what's ahead had an advertisement on the back ... for "Choices Medical Center". Seriously? "We're here trying to disgust you into giving up your right to control your body! Come talk to us about your 'choices'!"

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3 Responses
  1. POD Says:

    I came over to your blog from Crabby's and wanted to see what your blog was about.
    I loved your cat picture and agreed with feeling
    DOOMED! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!!!!!! about the cranky post.

    Now I'm going back to read some of your blog and you will see we might have some things in common.

  2. POD Says:

    Anyway, yeah, back to things in common. Doctors who say things about how fat we are is a big pet peeve of mine. If you have time, pls go read some of my blog. The post from Sept 19th is about this very subject.
    I also have some older post related to fat and doctors.
    I love the title of your blog too.

  3. PTC Says:

    I just had to stop by and tell you that I love your cat picture!! :)