Students for Human Life plants 50 balloons in Upper Quad

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Fifty white balloons could be seen floating near the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas Friday afternoon. Each balloon was tied to a baby bottle.

The balloons were a part of the Cemetery of the Innocent, which represents the number of aborted fetuses every day in Minnesota. The St. Thomas group Students for Human Life organized the demonstration.

Sophomore Kristin Vasko handed out informative fliers to students passing by.

“We are bringing awareness to the abortion issue,” Vasko said. “It is not a protest and nothing spiteful.”

Junior Matthew Slattery has been involved with the group since freshman year.

“I think a lot of women need help and get neglected advice from society,” he said.

The fliers given to students provided Minnesota abortion statistics. The sheets also provided contact information for options other than abortion.

Gina Dolski can be reached at

15 Replies to “Students for Human Life plants 50 balloons in Upper Quad”

  1. As a Catholic institution, St. Thomas does disagree with abortion, however, being pro-life is not limited too just Catholicism. An Atheist, Lutheran, Muslim, etc, could be pro-life, so I don’t see how this protest would make people of other religions feel uncomfortable or not welcomed? I actually applaud the school for taking a stance in such a controversial issue, many institutions would avoid it all together.

  2. I agree with you, Julia. St. Thomas serves students representing a variety of belief systems. While it goes without saying that there is a significant population of individuals who are anti-choice at UST, there is also a significant pro-choice population. ALL of these students are welcomed and embraced by UST as all of us are part of the UST community. I wish there was a way that this message could have been communicated to prospective UST students.

  3. Emily and Julia-

    I wonder if your comments would be the same if the tables were turned and this was a demonstration for a pro-choice group. I do not think that the time was chosen beacuse a lot of prospective students would be on camups, this seems coincidental. Even so, why do you advocate it should not be held on a day with many visitors? Why should we brush this issue under the rug when visitors are around, providing them with a facade that St. Thomas is “Catholic in name only” when this is clearly not the case? I congratulate Students for Human Life for courageously taking a stand on this polarizing issue which effects millions of people, whether they reside inside or outside a womb, every year. Thank you for your committment to life!

  4. A final note specific to Emily’s comment. Please do not use the term “anti-choice” unless you are prepared for your views be described as “anti-life.”

  5. John,
    I appreciate your perspective. In all honesty, I wouldn’t want there to be a pro-choice event taking place during an admissions event either. I am able to put my personal viewpoints aside in this sense– I wouldn’t want ANY prospective student to feel uncomfortable or less welcome, whether they be pro-choice or anti-choice. I remember how important the feeling of being welcomed on a college campus was to me as a high schooler.

  6. And yes, I will use the term anti-choice, because it encompasses the beliefs embraced by the large majority of the pro-life community. If you would like to label me or any other pro-choicer as “anti-life”, be my guest. This statement would be ignorant, however. I am a proud member of the pro-choice community and am also very “pro-life.” I think abortion is tragic, for the woman and the child. I possess nothing, but pity, sadness, and compassion for any woman who finds herself in a situation where abortion is being considered. I also respect a woman’s right to choose. So yes, John, I will use the term anti-choice to describe the viewpoints of the majority of the community which calls themselves pro-life. Because it’s accurate. The pro-life community respects life, also. But they do not respect a woman’s right to choose. That’s not an insult. It’s simply a fact.

  7. At the risk of alienating my fellow pro-choicers on this (and let me just say now, I’m sorry if I offend any of you) I think we should be really careful about using the term anti-choice. The thing is, I don’t like being called pro-abortion (and I’ve heard this used regularly to describe people who are pro-choice, including myself) because I don’t think it accurately reflects my beliefs (nor obviously, Emily’s). Whether or not terms do reflect people’s beliefs though, I think we ought to at least respect what people choose to call themselves. The issue is so divisive anyway, if we get caught up who gets called what, I think it makes it worse.

    I think there’s just so much to be said for common ground on this that gets totally overlooked and if we fight about what we call eachother, we’ll never get there.

  8. Paul- ok, first, funny! And second, serious thread derailing here, but are they really? It seems like anti-choice is opposed to choice. Can you be opposed to something you think isn’t possible? Or maybe they can be called that since they’re opposed to the possibilty…

  9. Just a thought…if we’re concerned about balloons scaring off prospective students, wouldn’t we be even more concerned about stuff like the protest on South Campus last weekend? I mean, hundreds of people marching would be a lot more intimidating to me if I were a prospective student. If we’re going to be concerned about demonstrations scaring off prospective students, then you can’t just limit it to stuff that’s “too Catholic,” pro-life, etc.

  10. Abby,
    On behalf of Ms. Brock-
    “If there was a pro-choice demonstration on campus, I would definitely NOT support the use of scare tactics or disturbing images.”

    and Ms. Ross-
    “In all honesty, I wouldn’t want there to be a pro-choice event taking place during an admissions event either.”
    “I wouldn’t want ANY prospective student to feel uncomfortable or less welcome, whether they be pro-choice or anti-choice.”

    I believe you three are all in agreement. However, I disagree with all three of you. I would have hated to be presented with a false impression of St. Thomas so that I may enroll. In fact, when I spent the night here as a high school student was offered alcohol by my host. I in no way condone underage drinking and refused his offer, but that was a truthful aspect of St. Thomas. It gave me a realistic idea of what occurred at college as that was my first time touring one. I don’t understand the desire for secrecy. To qualify that, both of those events were St. Thomas sanctioned and not just some rowdy students looking to cause trouble. Those types of things should not be hidden from students as it is tantamount to lying to them. Those that saw the events and still attend are more suited than those that would apply out of ignorance of the campus’…

  11. Hi Brett–
    Thanks for clarifying. I agree with you, actually. I don’t think such things should be hidden from the prospective students. I was just trying to make the point that as far as alienating demonstrations go, this event doesn’t deserve to be singled out as highly disturbing or offensive.

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