Anti-abortion messages spark student protest


Brad Allen

photo by Brad Allen

Brad Allen, Assistant Copy Editor

Scores of students stopped outside the University Center Sept. 19 to converse with a group of anti-abortion activists representing Abolish Abortion Wisconsin, who came to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus to present pro-life arguments.

The assembly grew in size as many students were offended by the graphic images on display.

“One of the reasons why we use signs that are graphic is we’re trying to show people what’s actually legal in our country,” Anti-abortion activist Luke Pliska Pliska said. “People get very offended because it’s the actual murder of a human being. And that’s what we’re trying to show people. Universities are supposed to be bastions of free thought … where you’re exchanging ideas.”

Joshua Williams said the activists handed out fliers showing posters of “dead babies and dead fetuses,” which angered many students, including himself.

Some students expressed dismay over the posters because of the close proximity to the Children’s Learning Center in Roseman Hall.

“I’m offended by the presentation,” Williams said. “I feel we are all adults and are able to comprehend it, but for other students, it can be triggering. These are sensitive images for some students. But the big issue is that there are three and four-year-olds out here.”

Several UW-W police officers were present during the protest.

Global Experiences Director Dan Colleran saidhe did not see any student organization being represented at the event, where he saw many extreme images on posters.

“I do not think this is effective for a meaningful dialogue,” Colleran said. “Students are very offended by what they’re seeing here, and it’s a distraction to their academic studies today. I feel if a student had an abortion, they may be going through PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] right now. I do not feel it’s an effective tactic that they’re using.”

The Abolish Abortion Wisconsin group traveled to UW-Whitewater on Sept. 19 after visiting UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point earlier in the week. The group also traveled to UW-Milwaukee on Sept. 21.