A poster reading, “Abortion is Violent” displayed on the first floor hallway of the Smith Memorial Student Union signaled the return of anti-abortion campaigns on campus, led by the PSU Pro-Life organization.
The Friday morning protest was the latest stop on the Students for Life’s Abortion is Violence tour, a multi-city information campaign aimed at presenting a prohibition-centered view of abortion.
“We thought it would be a good followup to the [Genocide Awareness Project] display as it explains more about what abortion procedures actually are,” explained PSU Pro-Life president Taylor, “and you know, it allows students to engage the display maybe in a way that they’re more comfortable.”
A stack of laundry baskets full of baby socks stood alongside the display, 6,246 of them.
“So the socks, we have, they represent the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood every week,” Taylor said. “So, each baby sock is a baby lost per week.”
While the “Abortion is Violence” campaign visits to other campuses have not promoted the graphic imagery seen in the earlier PSU Pro-Life protest on the Park Blocks, the promotional material in SMSU does not guarantee a similarly toned-down approach in the second event planned this month: PSU Pro-Life is staging a screening of the film 180, a film that uses extreme Holocaust imagery to criticize abortion and advocate for its total prohibition.
The film will screen at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 in Cramer Hall 158.
Critics have assailed 180, among them the Anti-Defamation League, whose former National Director Abraham Foxman, a Holocaust Survivor himself, called the film “one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years.”
The Catholic Herald wrote “the kind of hectoring that someone like Comfort employs is not the same as preaching; indeed, it seems to me to be employing a form of verbal violence concerning a subject–abortion–where violence is already intrinsic.”
When asked about the controversy, Taylor reiterated PSU Pro-Life’s message.
“I’m not aware of any major critiques of the film,” she said. “I’m not up to date on their opinion of the program.”
“I don’t think that the film itself is heated and charged, I think the topic of abortion itself is heated and charged because it is an act of violence which terminates an innocent human life,” Taylor continued. “As a club on campus our goal is to educate students about the harmful effects of abortion on the mind and body of children, and offer resources to women impacted by abortion, and also have a safe space to have dialogues about what abortion is.”
“Regarding if people view it as controversial or shocking or offensive, I’d say yes,” she said.
“that’s because abortion itself is offensive.”
Taylor said PSU Pro-life will offer resources for students who are troubled after viewing the film.
“We have a whole bunch of resources, for pregnant students, for students who need help in healing from abortion, counseling services, we got you covered,” Taylor said.
PSU Pro-Life is providing food and an opportunity for discussion of 180 after the screening.
PSU Pro-Life can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]. For resources outside the club, students can reach out to the Women’s Resource Center at [email protected], the Queer Resource Center at [email protected] or the Student Health and Counseling Center at 503.725.2800.
For more, listen to Joe Michael Riedl’s Vanguard podcast, “(Podcast Ep. 2:) Shut it down: Anti-abortion display holds space on campus”: