Students denounce abortion, support women’s rights at regular campus event.
By Michelle Delgado
Photos featuring aborted fetuses filled the walkway of the mall Monday morning as three female students held an impromptu protest against an anti-abortion event, holding up handmade signs and shouting, “It’s my body and my choice!”
The event, hosted by Love of Truth Ministries, not only presented photos, but also gave the opportunity for students to choose yes or no on a clipboard at a table that read, “Should abortion remain legal?”
“I don’t agree that abortion is a sin; I don’t agree that someone is evil because they get an abortion,” said social work freshman Diandra Borrero from her spot on a ledge overlooking the mall.
The young woman beside her held a white poster that read “there’s an elephant in the womb,” written in black marker.
“If someone doesn’t want to get an abortion, then I don’t care, don’t get an abortion, but you shouldn’t force your opinion on somebody,” psychology sophomore Natalie Mosqueda said.
Daryl Rodriguez, president of Love of Truth Ministries, said his group hosted the event to provide information from an anti-abortion standpoint.
“We’re here to educate people about what abortion truly is,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said his organization has visited this campus many times but has not seen the reaction go as far as it did.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” he continued, referring to the abortion photos displayed throughout the area. “We bring these photos for evidence.”
Both Borrero and Mosqueda missed class to voice their opinion during the event.
“It’s worth it. This is so important,” Barrero said of skipping class to protest.
The viewpoint of presidential candidate Donald J. Trump also came up during the women’s protest.
“It is a woman’s choice, and I don’t think the government should have anything to do with what a woman does with her own body,” drama freshman Arianna Angeles said. “Nobody just wakes up and says, ‘Hey you know what sounds fun? An abortion.’ They have reasons.”
Marion Thompson, member of Love of Truth Ministries, expressed a preference for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
“We try to elect people who are going stop to abortion,” Thompson said. “Ted Cruz was the best one we had on our ticket. … A lot of people hate Trump. I’m not voting for either one. I think both of them have a lot of garbage in their deal, but given the choice, I would definitely choose Trump.”
Many passers-by backed the abortion-rights supporters; some shot thumbs-up in their direction, many shook hands or bumped fists, often saying, “Thank you” or “I support you.”
One student stepped up on the ledge to join the protesters, said “Pro-choice” and took a sign from Borrero to give her a break.
“I don’t believe in organized religion,” history freshman Robert Frost said while holding the sign with his arms stretched straight up. “I believe that everything is circumstantial, and if you don’t understand the circumstances you don’t have the right to say what someone can or cannot do with their body.”
The protesters said they were not fond of the photos, some which featured aborted fetuses.
“These pictures are very disturbing and can be a trigger for some individuals,” Frost said.
Other students supported the anti-abortion efforts.
“I’m definitely against abortion,” nursing freshman Roberta Flores said. “I have two kids, and I don’t think that people should be doing grown-up things if they’re not willing to commit to their responsibilities.”
She and nursing freshman Marisol Mireles watched the protest while standing in line for the yes or no poll.
“I know it’s wrong because it will just make you feel guilty and it’s not the right thing to do when there’s other options,” Mireles said.
“Think about the people who can’t have kids and want to have kids,” Flores added. “You can always consider putting the baby up for adoption and giving it to somebody who would appreciate them.”
One student said she was there to learn more.
“I’m checking both sides. I like to be informed before choosing a side,” science sophomore Shaila Moreno said while standing in front of the protesters after speaking with the event organizers.
Others had already made up their minds.
Liberal arts sophomore Elizabeth Lawson, 21, said abortion should remain legal because it’s a safe medical procedure.
“There’s a lot of people out there who do not have a safe and affordable access to it,” Lawson said. “If you think about it, we are granting more bodily autonomy to a corpse. You can’t force me to donate organs, so why should we force someone to carry a pregnancy to a full-term?” she said.
Thompson, disagreed, saying abortion is not a safe procedure.
“The court should’ve never given the right for people to be able to … It’s called murder, not just killing, because it’s the shedding of innocent blood,” Thompson said of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the U.S.
“We have records on file of doctors, abortionists and hospitals where women have died by the thousands. We have their names and years, so when they advocate that it’s a safe procedure, they’re wrong,” he said.
Rodriguez said the First Amendment gives both sides the right to speak their mind.
“One thing we can all agree on is freedom of speech,” he said. “Freedom of speech is important and creates dialogue.”
Love of Truth Ministries is scheduled to return to the mall Nov. 7.
Bismarck D. Andino contributed to this story.