FSU Women Say NO to Anti-Abortion Fear-Mongers

*Warning graphic imagery*

In the fall of my freshman year, I was walking to class, and my regular route through Landis had a different scenery. At 8 AM, Landis was riddled with grotesque pictures of body limbs and angry protestors. With a second look, I even got to see that one of the pictures was actually a swine fetus. They had signs that said “Don’t be a murderer” and “Save the Children”. As I walked through an elderly woman tried to hand me a pamphlet and after I said “No, thank you” she told me that I would go to hell. I was repulsed at the fact that these people took time out of their days to intimidate young women. Every time the anti-abortion groups arrive, all of my group chats send out warnings for us to avoid Landis. Although we may be annoyed by the petitioners and vendors on campus, the anti-abortion groups are particularly triggering to people on campus.

In response, I’ve spoken to some women on campus about how they feel about the anti-abortion group visits.

“It’s not only triggering but really damaging for people to see those photos and hear their rhetoric. I always avoid that area when I can. But today, I was walking out of Strozier, and I saw a group of girls tabling right next to them so I decided to walk over. They were from Planned Parenthood and were SO nice. They had us sign up for emails about volunteering, info on PP, and if we wanted to share our personal stories. They also handed out really cute “Keep Abortion Safe & Legal” stickers! I get so happy when I see our campus/students rally for their rights like that!” – Selena Ponton

“I think that their lack of respect for women and the right to control their bodies is infuriating and makes me sick!! It’s also a class inclusion problem and stems from systematic racism” – Riley Harra

“They had children with them holding up signs that are taller than them. Shouldn’t they be in school? If you’re pro-life, life includes education and you’re keeping your children from getting that.” – Sidney Johnson

The protestors on campus don’t seem to be there to be educational and inform women about their reproductive choices. They aren’t there to be a healthy or supportive group. They’re fear mongers. Even those that I’ve spoken to that are pro-life don’t feel that these groups are helping any cause or changing anyone’s opinion. Yelling at students going to class about going to hell and murdering babies with gruesome pictures is only one thing. Fear mongering.

Courtesy: AZ Central

I decided to speak to another group on campus that speaks about reproductive rights about how they choose to address students, Planned Parenthood Generation Action. I asked Planned Parenthood about how they felt about these anti-abortion protestors.

“We respect the right to free speech but we do not respect the false and graphic images these anti-abortion groups display on our campus. The people who belong to these groups intentionally harass, shame and judge students all while perpetuating false ideas about abortion, gender, sexuality, and bodily autonomy. Generation Action believes that abortion is health care and everyone should have access to accurate, positive, and non-judgmental reproductive health care. We believe that students should feel safe and supported while attending FSU and the presence of these anti-abortion groups does nothing but harm students.”

These aren’t normal advocacy groups, they’re an intimidation machine. Despite this, we will always have alternative organizations to combat their attempts to scare women and provide a nurturing environment for learning.

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