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Group to visit UNM with anti-abortion presentation

Students who are sensitive to graphic imagery might do well to avoid Smith Plaza next week, said Dean of Students Randy Boeglin.

Monday through Wednesday, Justice for All, an anti-abortion organization, will present 18-foot posters that include pictures of aborted fetuses, said Justice for All representative Tammy Cook. The posters will also have information about fetal development. She said 50 to 100 Justice for All representatives will be on hand to talk to students and passersby.

Boeglin said in an e-mail that students could avoid the area, near Zimmerman Library, by taking alternate routes through campus.

”This is not a UNM-sponsored activity and the University takes no position regarding the exhibit or its messages,” he said. “UNM is not trying to endorse or censure the exhibit.”

According to Justice for All’s Web site, the group will also host an interactive training seminar from 12:45 to 5:30 p.m. in the SUB on Sunday.

Cook said the group doesn’t aim to disturb students with the posters. She said the goal is to educate students about the effects of abortion on women and unborn children.

“Our mission is to spark conversation about an issue that many people are reticent to speak about,” she said. “The need to spark that conversation is because we feel that valuable information and dialogue about abortion are absent from a typical student’s university experience.”

Cook said many students think the photos used on the display posters aren’t real or accurate representations. She said the only adjustment made to the pictures is enlargement. “A typical response after seeing the pictures is shock and disbelief — questioning accuracy of the photos,” she said. “They are indeed real, they are un-retouched photos, but they are larger than actual size. If we were to show them in actual size, students would not be able to fully comprehend the fetal development of a child in either fetal development pictures or the abortion pictures.”
Junior Chanel Rodriguez said she doesn’t think posters with graphic images are an effective way to tell students about abortion.

“I’m not going to talk rationally to someone who is irrationally putting these pictures up at our school,” Rodriguez said. “If they’re going to have pictures of aborted fetuses up everywhere, then it’s not going to really make me want to go talk to them.”

Rodriguez said she will avoid Smith Plaza while Justice for All’s display is up. She said anti-abortion advocates can find other ways to express their beliefs without using graphic posters.

“Maybe if someone had a booth with a sign on it that said, ‘Pro-life: come talk to us,’ it would be more effective,” Rodriguez said. “They don’t have to make a gruesome display for the entire school to see.”

Cook said the group wants to educate students and community members by handing out informational pamphlets along with displaying the posters. She said the pamphlets include suggestions of how to help a friend find a pregnancy resource center in case of an unplanned pregnancy.

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“We will have a brochure that we will hand out to students who request one,” Cook said. “In that brochure, there are a couple of different things that we recommend, which is to choose adoption, to save sex for marriage and to help others understand the reality of abortion.”

*Justice For All

Monday – Wednesday
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Smith Plaza

Interactive Training Seminar
Sunday, 12:45 – 5:30 p.m.
Suggested donation $20, $10 for students


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