It’s Thursday. I have two classes finished, one to go- and then I’m free for the weekend. I can’t wait because it’s been a stressful week.
I exit Bessey hall, walking towards Wells. As I cross the bridge, I see three men passing out pamphlets.
Great. This isn’t an unusual sight at Wells, where Evangelicals often come to preach as students — interested, apathetic or annoyed– pass by. But on this particular Thursday morning, the three men are each standing behind a huge poster board of a graphic picture of an aborted fetus.
The first one I see says “God bless America?” and the photo is of a fetus that was probably aborted during the second trimester. It is completely repulsive. A knot forms in my stomach and I can feel myself getting upset. I don’t want to have to pass by this on my way to class.
As I near one of the men, he tries to hand me a pamphlet. He says something along the lines of, “Will you take this?” and I reply with “Absolutely not.”
I don’t make eye contact and I just keep on walking. I feel my heart pumping and I know there’s going to be a backlash for my remark.
“What? Are you for this? One of those baby killers?” I can hear him yelling at me as I walk further away, and I look at the woman walking near me.
“I am so pissed,” she says. “I don’t want to see that. But its freedom of speech, right, so they can get away with it.”
Oh, the First Amendment. Right now it feels like more of a curse than a blessing. How can they show these graphic images on campus? Where does free speech cross the line into offensive territory?
I am adamantly pro-choice, but I’m not out there displaying graphic pictures of abandoned, abused, or murdered children; photos of women using clothes hangers to terminate their pregnancy; or pictures of men hitting women in their stomachs with baseball bats, all because they can’t access or afford to get an abortion.
Not only are the photos graphically offensive, but it is upsetting to me that they were middle-aged men trying to preach to me on the moral grounds of abortion. First of all, get a uterus, and then we’ll talk.
Secondly, these photos are not going to change my stance on abortion. They just make me more angry at the tactics often used by the pro-life movement.
Show some respect, people!
What do you think? Send your comments and letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.