Pro life protesters draw mixed reactions from Palomar students

Palomar student Hali Scott 23 takes matters into her own hands and starts protesting against the fetus banners posted on campus on Sept. 14. Melissa Rodas/The Telescope

Palomar student Hali Scott 23 takes matters into her own hands and starts protesting against the fetus banners posted on campus on Sept. 14. Melissa Rodas/The Telescope

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.

Palomar student Hali Scott, 23, yelling "Your body, your choice." to students walking by the abortion images on campus on Sept. 14 -Kayla Rambo/The Telescope

Palomar student Hali Scott, 23, yelling “Your body, your choice.” to students walking by the abortion images on campus on Sept. 14 -Kayla Rambo/The Telescope

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?”

Palomar freshman Andres Bojorquez discusses abortion rights with Stephen Beatty, a volunteer with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, in the Student Union grass on Sept 14, 2016. Eric Szaras/The Telescope

Palomar freshman Andres Bojorquez discusses abortion rights with Stephen Beatty, a volunteer with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, in the Student Union grass on Sept 14, 2016. Eric Szaras/The Telescope

“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.”

Palomar student Jamie Watson, undeclared major writes her opinion on the display at the Join The Conversation table set up by faculty in response to the Pro-Life display. Michael Schulte/The Telescope

Palomar student Jamie Watson, undeclared major writes her opinion on the display at the Join The Conversation table set up by faculty in response to the Pro-Life display. Michael Schulte/The Telescope

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

 Palomar student Brooke White continues to spread the message to young women students at Palomar College in protest of Anti-Choice promoters on campus, Sept. 14. Michael Schulte/The Telescope


Palomar student Brooke White continues to spread the message to young women students at Palomar College in protest of Anti-Choice promoters on campus, Sept. 14. Michael Schulte/The Telescope

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.

Author: TELESCOPE STAFF

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1 Comment

  1. I write this comment not to argue on the morality of abortion, but rather to comment on the poorly formed argument that was presented at the anti-abortion demonstration. The stated goal of the display was to equate abortion with genocide. This claim was illustrated through historical and contemporary examples of genocides and ethnic cleansings, as well as the overarching themes and trends that generally coincide with them (dehumanization, etc.). While the argument can be made that the act of abortion fits many of the components of genocide, it differs in one extremely consequential way. The end goal of genocide in the extermination of an entire group of people. Not one member of the targeted group would be allowed to live. The end goal of an abortion, on the other hand, is the termination of the life of a single unborn child. Not even the staunchest of abortion supporters would claim that the goal of legalized abortion is to exterminate all unborn children. As a result of this distinction, abortion cannot justifiably be labeled as genocide.

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