Anti-abortion group displays graphic images near campus

A member of "Survivors," right, a California-based organization that travels to college campuses to protest abortion, speaks with St. Thomas freshman Andre Arnett Thursday near campus. (Rebecca Omastiak/TommieMedia)

Anti-abortion protestors displayed graphic images of abortions Thursday near St. Thomas.

‘Survivors’, a California-based organization, set up large posters containing images of mutilated fetuses on the public sidewalk along Summit Avenue. The posters evoked a variety of reactions from St. Thomas students.

Freshmen Maura Hinken and Carly LeClaire said the posters made them “lose their appetites.”

St. Thomas senior Tom Kreitzer said he thought the images were “rude,” “insensitive” and “immoral.”

“I think it’s highly inappropriate that a group of people would put posters like that showing really nasty pictures of third-trimester abortions, when that’s pretty much all illegal at this point anyway,” Kreitzer said.

Although some students said the photos were insensitive, Molly Miller, an Augsburg senior who takes a class at St. Thomas, said the images raise awareness.

“I’m an avid pro-life person, so I see nothing wrong with it,” Miller said. “It’s very graphic obviously, but you know, it’s what happens.”

Freshman Michelle Graff found the photos to be “sad and depressing,” but said they were an effective way to send a message.

“If you’re going to change the world, you start with the youth,” Graff said.

‘Survivors’ member Hannah Buckett said the nine-member group goes to college campuses across the U.S. to hand out informational packets and talk to students about abortion.

“We normally go to public campuses. This is kind of different for us,” Buckett said. “We don’t go on campus if it’s a private school, and we just stay on the sidewalk.”

57 Replies to “Anti-abortion group displays graphic images near campus”

  1. Paul: Worst. Excuse. Ever. :P

    Chris is definitely going the J. J. Thomson route, and I admit I have a soft spot for her. Her argument is so refreshingly brutal, and she has a great way with words. I like that she concedes the fetus’s personal rights at the outset, then goes on to argue (intelligently) for a right to kill said person. However, it seems to me that *admitting* that, for whatever reason, you are murdering innocents makes the Nazi comparison more, not less, apt.

    There is much to say about the Thomson argument, and it has been, at great length, elsewhere. The easy (brief) replies are that it only *possibly* applies to rape cases (since all others assume responsibility for the natural consequences of sex by engaging in it), that the analogy is bad because one has the right to unplug the violinist and *allow* him to die, but not to deliberately dismember him in order to ensure his death (as in abortion), or even that one *would* have a right to use another’s body to sustain his own life.

    I think the most damning point against Thomson’s case, though, is that I’ve never met a single person who really believed it. It is deployed exclusively by pro-choicers who deny the humanity of the fetus but don’t want to talk about it.

    Sorry about the Godwin…

  2. Yep, that was my shortened version of the Thomson argument, which I do actually believe James. I also don’t buy into the argument that having sex is equivalent to a contractual acceptance of its possible unintended consequences. Sure, you’ll have to deal with the consequences, just like you would have to deal with the consequences if you got HIV from having sex. That’s simply a statement of reality though, which in no way implies that you have to deal with that consequence in any one particular way. Hence, one way to deal with the consequence of pregnancy would be to have an abortion.

    I’ll forgive you for the Godwin of course, as long as you’ll forgive me for pointing out once again that when it comes to the core personality trait that made Hitler what he was, pro-lifers score off the charts. In the one study I’m aware of that sampled pro life activists exclusively, the group *average* right-wing authoritarianism score (220) fell just short of what Bob Altemeyer defines as “Hitler level” (230 and up), setting the all time record group score out of literally hundreds of studies. Of course, the disturbing personality profiles of its adherents (with exceptions, of course) doesn’t in itself disprove the pro-life position. But it ought to give one pause, I think.

  3. Chris, 
    Actually, its completely irrelevant. But, I’ve expressed my disgruntlement and now must abide by Rule 14.

  4. James, I wonder if you’ve read the entire article by Thomson? She addresses those objections at length.

  5. I’ve read the piece in full *many* times. The “people seeds being thrown at a screened window” analogy, however, is simply so poor I’m genuinely surprised when people buy into it. It’s not a surprise or bad luck when sex leads to pregnancy; it is the natural ends of the act. The abortionist “deals” with that consequence the same way a bullemic deals with nutrition.

    But, Chris — you say you really believe it. Do you mean, you actually believe in the personal rights of the fetus? Or simply that if you *did* believe, you still wouldn’t agree with the pro-life stance? I ask because I spoke carelessly; I don’t doubt that pro-choicers are sincere when they say they think the argument works, and was wrong to imply otherwise. But I’ve never met someone who is otherwise pro-life, who says, “Fetuses are real, moral entities equivalent to you and me, but, unfortunately, we can’t give them legal protection without compromising ladies’ liberty.”

    But, yeah, one thing TM is not conducive to is thorough, long-form debate, as I think we’ve all encountered in the past few posts.

    Wasn’t the Altemeyer study published in 1981, and considered not pro-lifers but the entire right-wing? Since pro-lifers were still by-and-large Democrats around that time, it seems…

  6. I suppose I wouldn’t say that a fetus is really a moral entity like you or I are. I wouldn’t draw a moral equivalence between what is technically a human being and a fully formed human person and all that entails. In that sense, I suppose I fit your criteria for not “believing” the argument since I don’t really see a fetus as equivalent to you and I.

    The Altemeyer study may have been in the 80’s. He’s conducted hundreds of studies of RWA, many of which were around that time. In any case, the RWA/pro-life correlation has been replicated in other studies as well.

    The particular number I was referencing was for members of a pro-life group, not conservatives in general. It certainly seems to be the case that the pro-life position was more popular among Democrats in the 80s than it is now, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Democrats were the majority of pro-lifers. The data suggest that pro-life is and was a predominately conservative position, given that it correlates so strongly with the core conservative trait, right-wing authoritarianism.

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