University Offers Counseling for Anyone Offended by Pro-Life Group’s Display of Abortion Victims

State   |   Erin Parfet   |   Feb 13, 2017   |   6:28PM   |   San Marcos, California

California State University-San Marcos recently emailed students to warn them about a pro-life display on campus this week and offer counseling for students who find the display “disturbing and offensive,” Campus Reform reported.

The display, scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14, is part of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) “Genocide Awareness Project.” According to the group’s website, “the exhibit juxtaposes images of aborted embryos and fetuses with images of victims of historical and contemporary genocides and other injustices. This project is the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s premiere mass media outreach.”

An email from the university Office of Communications warned students: “This presentation is a graphic anti-abortion display. Members of our campus community may find this content disturbing and offensive.”

The email told students its counseling center and Gender Equity Center would be open to students “who may need assistance” while the pro-life group is on campus, according to Campus Reform.

The pro-life group’s rights and message are protected under the First Amendment, which the university acknowledged.

“The group’s right to present this display on campus is protected under the First Amendment…this is not a university sponsored presentation,” the email continues. “If you decide to engage with [CBR] volunteers, please be aware that they are known to videotape interactions and conversations.”

Furthermore, the university will provide two tables in a plaza area for students to meet with counselors should they feel “triggered by the anti-abortion imagery,” the report continues.

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“We don’t think it’s necessary for the school to send out a warning to all students, as we do put up signs on the walkways to warn passersby of what is ahead, but it is helpful in that it does let people who don’t want to see the display know that it will be on campus,” Nathan Apodaca, president of Students for Life at the university told Campus Reform, also stating that he considers the email “hyperbolic.”

“The images are very graphic, but they are necessary to show the public just what abortion is: namely, an act that decapitates and dismembers an innocent human being, without proper justification,” Apodaca continued.

The Center for Biomedical Reform’s Genocide Awareness Project is privately-funded, non-profit, educational traveling display that has been presented at various college campuses across the United States and Canada since 1998.

“Pregnant college students frequently change their minds about aborting their babies after viewing the display and interacting with the CBR staff and volunteers who dialogue with students around the display. After one visit to the University of Tennessee CBR was told of eight women who changed their minds about terminating their pregnancies,” the CBR website states.

“Other students report that GAP changed the way they think about pregnancy and abortion,” the group’s website elaborated. “The photographs help them realize that embryos and fetuses are not blobs of tissue and that abortion is not a morally inconsequential act.”

A similar event was held at the university last fall, the Cougar Chronicle reports.

“When I walked by this, I was personally disgusted by the trivialization of the different genocides that have happened in different countries,” sophomore student Rachel Walters told the Cougar Chronicle. “I really don’t agree with this. I think it is spreading false information and propaganda and spreading bigotry across campus.”

Students and staff also were informed of the event via email prior to the group visiting the campus, the report continued.

“When we knew this was going to be happening, we wanted to let students, faculty and staff know in advance because obviously with the visual nature, it may have caused some concerns [and] grief for students, faculty and staff,” Associate Vice President for Communications Cathy Carothers Baur told the Chronicle.

Apodaca also wrote his thoughts in a separate article in the Cougar Chronicle last fall:

To this, it must be asked: What else do you call the killing of 1.2 million human beings per year? Many said that abortion doesn’t kill a human being which is patently false, since the unborn entity in question has human parents, which means it must, in fact, be a human being. Furthermore, it has a human genetic code. If a living being has human parents and human DNA, then how can it not possibly be a human being?

So what justifies killing an innocent, defenseless human being simply because they are in the way of something we want? Many pro-choice advocates typically cite one or more differences between the adults that we are today and the unborn humans that we once were to justify killing them at that earlier stage of development.

What the organization’s display does is show the “pro-choice” mindset for what it really is: allowing injustice for the sake of promoting self-interest. In the past we used to discriminate based on skin color and gender and now we discriminate based on size, development, location, and how dependent we are. We’ve simply traded one form of bigotry for another. This is a choice that a civil society based on equal treatment should do without.

Apodaca concluded: “Injustices throughout history have always been based on the notions of eliminating ‘problems.’ Why is abortion really any different?”