Assistant News Director
Barricades were established and lines formed around protesters near the Fighting Stallions statue. The Stallions mark the University’s designated free speech zone, and were utilized after pro-life advocates presented extremely graphic photos near the zone, lining the statue with barricades while comparing abortion to genocide.
Leader of the Display and member of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Devorah Gilman said she brought the display to Texas State campus because she wants to reinforce that the abortion issue is a human rights issue.
Gilman said she believes many college students who are sexually active consider abortion as a choice in life, stressing “we want to show what is happening in an abortion. How there is a human being that gets decapitated, dismembered and disemboweled through the abortion process. Choice is a very pleasant word, we generally are “pro-choice” about a lot of things in life. So the questions we’re asking: what is the choice to have an abortion? Is this a choice that’s actually violating someone else’s choices and someone else’s human rights?”
Texas State University organization, Feminists United were notified that pro-lifers would be setting up a demonstration that would be bigger than anything they had done before. When Feminists United arrived, the demonstration was already set, where members of Feminists United found it hard to effectively counter-protest in an organized way that still abides by rules set by the University.
Feminists United member Holly Doyle was one of many students who countered the display by holding sheets to block the graphic photos. Doyle said students fighting against the display are working to combat the stigma of abortion that is pushed by pro-lifers.
“We’re out here because whenever there’s an anti-choice presence on campus, we want to make sure there’s a pro-choice presence on campus, and to combat some of the shame and stigma that anti-choicers continue to spout and release, and we want people who have had abortions on campus to feel safe and supported, and know that they’re not bad people for making the decision that was best for them.”
Members of Feminists United said the photos displayed by pro-lifers are photo-shopped and medically inaccurate. Doyle said the photos of fetuses will say “a fetus is a lot younger than it actually is” when shown in a graphic. But Gilman argues that the pictures displayed have been approved by experts.
“We actually have embryology textbooks on hand, we have affidavits from both the photographer as well as an abortionist, who have checked out these pictures and said that this is exactly what abortions do look like.”
Many Texas State students surrounded the barricade with different opinions on abortion, where Texas State student Michael Dasher described the graphic photos as psychologically abusive and an excessive method of pro-lifers. Dasher said even though he is a man and cannot have an abortion, he still believes women should have the right to chose, emphasizing “I do believe that women have the right to do what they want in order to keep themselves safe.”