Written by Seji Gaerlan, Hayley Stevenson and Jacob Tucker
A long held debate since Roe v. Wade hit campus last week.
Students and staff may have been surprised on Wednesday to find huge pictures of dead fetuses, victims of genocide, and lynch victims in the center of the quad. Soon after the displays were erected, counter protests and a faculty response appeared near the demonstration.
The Center for Bioethical Reform, a privately funded Christian organization, set up the large and provocative images to start interactions with students and promote pro life.
“We wanna show the inhumanity of abortion,” said Rebekah Dyer, a 20 year-old Palomar student volunteering for the organization.
Many of the images depicted victims of different genocides, such as the Holocaust, Cambodian and Rwandan genocides. When asked about the comparison between abortion and genocide, Dyer responded, “What else would you call the 1.2 million children every year killed?”
“To come to an educational institution and see something that is an affront to me because I’ve had abortions…I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Scott said of the large sign display. “No matter what route I take I cannot not see this.”
Kevin Olivier, director of operations for CBR, stated that counter protests are common at their college demonstrations. “They’re often not willing to dialogue. If they are…we essentially tell them we’re willing to take down our display if they can tell us why it’s okay to dismember and decapitate pre-born human beings.”
Faculty who heard about the demonstration days prior set up a table with posters open for students to write about the demonstration. “We wanted to provide a space where students can register their feelings and thoughts,” said Kathleen Grove, a sociology professor on campus. “I would encourage students to whenever possible speak up because It’s one of the few times in your life when you’re able to do that.”
Student reactions were varied. Students Alexis Szedlacsek, 19, and Noah Bjoin, also 19, were not happy with the images.
“I’m Jewish so the pictures were uhh…offensive,” Szedlacsek said, commenting on the images of holocaust victims that were displayed among the images of dead fetuses.
“Personally, I don’t really consider abortion the same as lynch victims,” Bjoin said.
Other students were not quite so incensed. Bethany Holliday, 18, said that even though she
was pro life, she thought the protest was on the extreme side. “Personally, I don’t really agree with the whole abortion thing, but I feel like having a big thing like this maybe isn’t the greatest idea.”
Another student, Jasmine Williams said, “It doesn’t really bother me because I’m pro life as well… but I could see how some people might find it disgusting and inappropriate.”
Some seemed indifferent, such as Trevor Haywood who was eating an egg salad sandwich nearby. “I don’t really care,” he said before taking another bite.