Students stage anti-abortion protest

Michael Lockwood, a mathematics freshman, is a member of Comets for the Preborn and helped organize the event. Photo by Anna Phengsakmueang | Mercury Staff.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional information from Comets for the Preborn and to correct the reported day the event was held. It was held Tuesday afternoon, not Monday.

An unofficial student group, Comets for the Preborn, held an anti-abortion protest on the Plinth Tuesday afternoon, displaying posters containing images of fetuses aborted at different stages of development.

Mathematics freshman Michael Lockwood, a member of Comets for the Preborn, said the date of the event didn’t have significance, but that the group had wanted to host the event for some time. 

“Our goal here is to display the evidence of abortion and spark conversation about it,” he said.

Members of Comets for the Preborn handed out flyers from Created Equal, an Ohio-based anti-abortion organization.

Lockwood said he received a signed statement from Anthony Levatino, a gynecologist in New Mexico, that confirmed that the images displayed on the posters were accurate depictions of aborted fetuses. The Mercury was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the images.

David Rocha, a child learning and development junior, said that when he learned of the protest, he organized a small counter protest.

Child learning and development junior David Rocha organized a counter protest in response to an anti-abortion event held on the Plinth. Photo by Anna Phengsakmueang | Mercury Staff.

“I was very frustrated at the fact that they’re able to put these images on display like this,” he said.

Update: Amanda Smith, the associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the group received approval to hold the event a few days prior. She said the Dean of Students Office was aware of student complaints regarding the graphic nature of the posters.

“The Dean of Students Office received feedback from students and will consider the feedback if there are future exhibits of this nature,” Smith said in an emailed statement.

Economics senior Ephraim Renfro was one of the students who gathered in groups near the posters to discuss abortion.

“What I’ve noticed is that everyone has been civil,” he said. “Everyone’s talking and trying to actually learn or at least make their arguments in a civil way.”

Lockwood said while Comets for the Preborn is not a registered student organization yet, the group has filed paperwork and is awaiting approval.

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