Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 7, 2008
Student pro-lifers defy university order
Campus Prolife continues to display graphic photos
By SARA LOFTSON
"The images show the reality of abortion."
- Matthew Wilson
"The images show the reality of abortion. The pictures are powerful in showing the humanity of the unborn. This is why we feel it's important," he said.
"We are not radicals, we are merely students trying to promote that human life has dignity from the first moments of conception.'"
Once Campus Prolife set up the exhibit, members of the Feminist Initiative Recognizing Equality (FIRE) and other pro-choice students tried to block the display by standing in front of it holding up signs that said "We support every woman in her choice" and "Abused women don't consent."
"People on campus feel threatened and unsafe," said Kay Gallivan, a member of FIRE. "It's not fair to compare the Holocaust to abortion. It doesn't do anything for their cause."
Gallivan added: "I believe Campus ProLife should be allowed on campus if they don't have the signs."
The university backed down on its demand that the students vacate, but campus security monitored the group's activities all day and put up several cautionary signs warning passersby that "Campus Pro-Life has erected a display on university grounds without the permission or endorsement of the University of Calgary." The sign went on to warn that the images are "extremely graphic."
Student passersby had varied reactions to the display; some stopped to take pamphlets and engage in debate while others shrugged and walked past quickly.
"It's really depressing that Campus ProLife just use shock value to take away the rights women fought so hard to have," said Brandy Bushfield, a 20-year-old English student.
"I'm not for abortion. I'm prolife. (The display) is probably effective for some people," said Ryan Peters, a 27-year-old English student.
Peters added that he'd prefer to hear testimonies from women who've had abortions and regretted it or women who've been raped and kept the baby.
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry is among those opposed to the GAP. He publicly stated last spring that he was withdrawing his support from the Center for Bioethical Reform, the Calgary-based organization that distributes the GAP in Canada.
"Our organization is not associated with the (Catholic) Church and some of our members are not Catholic," said Wilson. The bishop "stated that people can make up their own minds about this issue."
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