A graphic anti-abortion display was not welcome by many North Dakota State students.
The display, set up Monday and Tuesday on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and Albrecht Avenue, featured pictures of aborted fetuses and compared abortion to genocide.
Devorah Gilmore, the community liaison for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, said the displays are graphic because “abortion is graphic.”
She said they choose to come to college campuses because college is a good place to have dialogue about these types of issues.
The reaction to the display was mixed but mostly negative on social media sites like Overheard at NDSU on Facebook.
Many commenters were outraged the campus allowed the display in the first place.
Memorial Union Director Steve Winfrey did not respond to a request for comment. University spokeswoman Anne Robinson Paul said “The university embraces its first amendment obligations and is content-neutral on these matters.”
The NDSU Student Government released this statement about the display.
“We have received many inquiries about the display on campus today. Although Student Government does not have the authority to grant or deny the request to display, please remember that any outside group can request permission to display on campus. To refuse a display, NDSU would be denying the right to freedom of speech. If you have any further questions please stop by the Student Government office or message us on Facebook,” the statement said.
Students on Tuesday organized a small counter protest to show their dissatisfaction with the display.
Senior Shahana Norton didn’t think it was necessary to traumatize students walking by to make a point.
Another counter protester, senior Emily Ramsted, said people had been avoiding the side of the sidewalk the pro-life protesters were on.
Campus police had a small presence, standing next to the graphic display to make sure the peace was kept.
Sara Bowman, a senior protesting the display, said the police presence was probably a good idea, because the topic is an emotionally charged issue.
Minnestoa State University Moorhead student Brad Wenner, a senior, was holding a sign that read “weird hobby” with an arrow pointing at the graphic display and its advocates.
Wenner said he was countering their message, because they were making unfair comparisons to genocides. He said he was against abortion but was for people having the right to choose.
Gilmore said although they have gotten some negative reactions, their message was effective.
She said most women getting abortions are college-aged.
“I think we are showing what an injustice this is,” she said.