Pro-life organization uses graphic photos to protest on Boca campus

The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform expressed anti-abortion stance outside the Social Science building on Thursday for around six hours.

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The abortion protest on Thursday at the Boca campus. Photo by Eston Parker III

Annalise Wellman and Darlene Antoine

Last year, an anti-abortion group brought a JumboTron to campus to play hours of abortion footage. Yesterday, something similar happened. 

The Candian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform displayed massive posters of disembodied fetuses across the Free Speech Lawn near the Social Science Building on the Boca campus.  

“We are an educational pro-life group where we try to have conversations to people about the issue of abortion by showing the evidence of what abortion does to an innocent human being,” said Cameron Côté, founder of the center. “Our goal is to motivate and demonstrate the idea that abortion directly and intentionally kills human beings.”

Members of the pro-life organization passed out pamphlets with images of aborted fetuses that said, “Shouldn’t All Humans Beings Have Human Rights?” and engaged in conversations with passing students about their organizations stance on abortion.

Their choice to use graphic images to convey their ideologies sparked mixed reviews from FAU’s student body. 

Student-run organizations like Generation Action, Planned Parenthood’s FAU chapter, and FAU’s Revolutionary Communist Youth displayed their pro-choice views across from the demonstrators while passing out pro-choice flyers. 

“I want to be here because both sides should have representation,” said Ally Walchak, president of Generation Action. “They are very strong in their opinions to push those onto students. My group, and myself are here to be a little safe haven, a small space, to offer support and refuge for those who feel attacked by their techniques.” 

Members of the pro-life organization passed out pamphlets with images of bloody aborted fetuses titled, “Shouldn’t All Humans Beings Have Human Rights?” and engaged in conversations with passing students about their organizations stance on abortion. 

With knowledge of the anti-abortion demonstration taking place, student-run organizations, such as Generation Action displayed their pro-choice views across from where the anti-abortion organization was set up and Revolutionary Communist Youth passed out pro-choice flyers in an effort to counter the claims being made by the opposing organization. 

“I want to be here because both sides should have representation,” said Ally Walchak, president of Generation Action. “They are very strong in their opinions to push those onto students. My group and myself are here to be a little safe haven, a small space, to offer support and refuge for those who feel attacked by their techniques.” 

A member of the pro-life organization Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform stands by the Free Speech Board. Photo by Eston Parker III

Other members of Generation Action were protesting along with Walchak. 

“Every year we fight against these anti-abortion groups to stand up for our fundamental rights to protect our own bodies and make our own decisions,” said Nia Abbate, vice president of Generation Action. “Right now, we are supporting a bill in Student Government to force FAU to notify all of the students when this group comes to campus. This imagery is really disturbing, false, and graphic, and it could be really triggering or upsetting to students. We deserve the right to know when they will be on campus and when we can fight back against them.”

Côté said he was intentional with the use of his graphic images. 

“Throughout history, most reform movements have needed to show the victims of the injustice to demonstrate the accuracy of their cause and the importance of their cause,” he said. 

The reform Côté said he wants is to make abortion “unthinkable.” The organzition does not span into political or religious interpretations of abortion, but only focuses on the concept of abortion as a violation of human rights. 

Many bystanders had diverging opinions in regard to the explicit photos, and the cause of the organization. 

“I think that this is good, honestly there should be more of it on campus because it spreads awareness about the topic,” said international business major Rachel Dejean.  

‘It’s really disturbing:’ Should FAU students be notified in advance?

Some students felt that there should be a formal announcement when these groups come to campus.

“This protest is disgusting, they really shouldn’t do this. We are trying to go to class, all these posters are up, and it’s not something I am trying to see when I am trying to think about my test,” said biology major Dakayla Saunders. “They should notify us, it’s not fair to us, if anything students could have taken another route instead of seeing that. It’s disturbing, it’s really disturbing.” 

Marcela Callejas, an executive member of FAU’s National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter, was also upset that students weren’t notified. 

“Some people have PTSD about having to go through an abortion or even having a miscarriage. I think it is really insensitive of them,” she said. “This has been going on for years and years. There are highschoolers on the campus, these are children. I don’t think this is ethical — it seems like they are just trying to push an agenda without having all the information. All these images are fake and have been debunked.” 

Côté said he is unsure if they will return to FAU next Spring for another demonstration.

Annalise Wellman is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] 

Darlene Antoine is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]