“You can’t turn a blind eye to the innocent.”
“Better a doctor’s office than a clothes hanger in an alley.”
These were just some of the comments students heard as they passed the Justice for All organization pro-life exhibition March 29 and 30.
Maureen McKinley, a staff mentor for Justice for All, said the main reason for the exhibit at UTSA, and at many other universities, was to create conversations about abortion.
“The reason we are here is to create dialogue among students on abortion. We believe some injustices need to be seen to be understood; people need to see the reality of the situation,” McKinley said.
The Justice for All organization, based out of Wichita, Kansas, was founded in 1993. The organization started its pro-life exhibits in 2000.
“We regret the need for the photos, but that is the only way to learn; it is the life of a child that is on the line,” said McKinley.
Student reactions to the exhibit varied. Some found the two-story exhibit grotesque while others thought the graphic photos are necessary.
“The exhibit is tasteless and immoral; it lies to make a point,” Mary McGovern, senior biology major said.
Others felt that the exhibit showed the reality of abortion.
“I think the pictures are gross, but it proves a good point,” undeclared major Amy Mayer said.
At the exhibit UTSA’s own pro-life organization, The Right to Life, distributed pamphlets and answered questions.
“Most abortions happen at the college level,” Koki Nikoi, junior biology/psychology major, and member of Right to Life said.
The organization, whose slogan is “from the womb to the tomb,” meets every other Tuesday to fundraise for women’s shelters.
“Students think we are trying to take away a vital resource women have,” Synthia Perez, freshman pre-nursing major said. “We want to inform women, to provide resources and respect them.”
To the surprise of some, most of the students at the exhibit were males.
“Males can also have an opinion. It does take two people to create a baby,” Nikoi said.
“This so called exhibit is disgusting. What is anybody getting out of this?” Grayson Diaz, sophomore engineering major, said.
“They are just trying to cause drama and tension and get people fired up,” Victoria Garrett, senior history major, said.
“Why don’t we educate our children on sex? The issue here seems to be more about education. If people knew about sex properly, they wouldn’t have to do things like this (abortion exhibit),” Aaron Cruz, sociology graduate student, said.
Justice for All displayed their profile exhibit through the Right to Life.
Outside affiliates who use a registered student organization to promote their message or products must follow posting guidelines which do not allow material to be displayed if the material, is obscene, vulgar or libelous.
In this case, how does someone judge the obscenity or vulgarity of an image based on context?
In 2001 the abortion images displayed were banned by UT Austin, and again in 2002 at the University of Houston campus.