A survey of 133 students showed 35 percent for and 65 percent against abortion.
By Pam Paz
Two anti-abortion groups visited this campus Tuesday to exercise their First Amendment rights.
Graphic posters of aborted fetuses were displayed along the mall area. Disclaimers warning students about the images were placed in areas around Loftin Student Center.
Crowds of 40-50 students at a time were at the demonstration between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
This was a first-time experience for Naomi Hubert, volunteer with the local chapter of Love of Truth Ministries, whose outreach includes Justice for All, an anti-abortion program. The program uses dialogue and graphic visuals to defend the rights of unborn children, according to its website.
“I’m here to raise awareness,” Hubert said.
The ministry’s president, Daryl Rodriguez, said the purpose of the demonstration is to help people see what abortion really is.
Created Equal, an anti-abortion group from Columbus, Ohio, also participated in the demonstration.
Rodriguez said he worked with student life director Richard Farias to get permission for the demonstration.
In the past they have set up the demonstration at The University of Texas at San Antonio as well as Northwest Vista College, Rodriguez said.
Farias said the ministry applied for permission to conduct the demonstration about a month ago and completed all the necessary steps.
Displaying the images is protected by freedom of speech, but Farias asked if they would consider not showing them.
“Personally, I’m not a fan of the imagery because I don’t think they foster an intellectual response; it’s more emotional,” he said.
Farias said the final approval came from Dean of Student Success Lisa Alcorta.
Hubert stood at a table with a sign that read, “Should abortion remain legal?”
At around 11 a.m., the number of people for and against the question was split, about 50/50. By the end of the demonstration, the survey showed 47 students supported and 86 opposed legal abortion.
Despite those results, volunteer Marion Thompson said the group visits colleges such as this one, which he described as liberal, because “people need to be exposed to the truth.”
Thompson said abortion-rights advocates use the excuse that fetuses are not human to justify supporting abortion.
“If you’re going to take the life of a human being, you have to dehumanize it,” he said. He compared abortion to the genocide of the Jewish people during the Holocaust and slavery.
Although he is passionate about the cause, he said he tries to find some common ground with people who don’t share his views.
Biology sophomore Sophie Barela said this is the first time she has ever seen this kind of demonstration. “They’re strong at getting their point across,” she said.
Criminal justice sophomore Louana Lozano said the images were hard to view.
“It makes me feel sad and at the same time angry,” she said.
Volunteer Debbie Locander was at first reluctant to talk to The Ranger because she said a previous article about the ministry “twisted her words around.” Locander did not specify which article it was.
She said she participated because she cares about people. “I want women to be educated, informed and warned about abortions,” she said.
Locander aborted as a teenager and said she still suffers the physical and emotional repercussions to this day.
The ministry also visited The Alamo and Texas State University this week.