Thursday, April 13, 2000

UC to have anti-abortion exhibit

Fetuses pictured; also genocides

BY Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A national group that likens abortion to lynching and the Holocaust is bringing its “deliberately disturbing” display of photos to the University of Cincinnati next week.

        Panels include 6-by-13-foot images of aborted fetuses, lynched African-Americans, and Jews in Hitler's death camps.

  • What: Genocide Awareness Project of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
  • When: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
  • Where: McMicken Commons at the Clifton Avenue campus of the University of Cincinnati.
        The photos will be displayed on McMicken Commons in the heart of the Clifton Avenue campus Monday and Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday.

        It's the Genocide Awareness Project of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, which has been carried to about 25 major, public campuses in the past two years.

        Gregg Cunningham, director of the California-based center, said the photos are deliberately disturbing because the project hopes to make the embryo and early fetus real to people who accept first-trimester abortion.

        However, Mr. Cunningham said, the photos are not gratuitously disturbing.

        “The pictures that we display show violence but we do not do violence,” he said.

        The display is sponsored by Students for Life, whose president, industrial engineering student Jessica Robinson, said the project made the initial contact with them.

        Miss Robinson, 21, of The Heights, said sponsorship followed a year of debate during which her group's 10 or so regular members weighed the hope of dissuading women from having abortions against the harm the images could do to women who have had abortions.

        In the end, she said, members decided a lot of good could be done even if the display only got people talking about it.

        The project defines genocide as the “deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, racial, reli gious, political, cultural, ethnic or other group defined by the exterminators as undesirable.”

        Abortion of “unwanted” fetuses fulfills that definition, the project says.

        The photos will also be on display today at Miami University.

        Mr. Cunningham couldn't quantify the display's positive impact but said supporters report young women saying they chose not to abort after seeing the photos.

        UC is hoping to defuse hurt and hostile reactions, spokesman Greg Hand said, in several ways:

        • UC will add its signs to those posted by the project, alerting passersby to the display and suggesting ways around the photos if people want to avoid them.

        • UC police will protect First Amendment rights if necessary.

        • Counselors will be available on the commons and in the student union for students who want to talk through their reactions to the photos. An open forum for students, faculty and staff will be at 5 p.m. Monday in a nearby classroom building.


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