The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), a radical anti-abortion organization, will be coming to the University of Oregon this week to display photographs and images of aborted fetuses juxtaposed next to pictures of victims of genocide.
GAP wishes to start a conversation on the value of human life by forcing students to examine poster-board sized pictures of dead fetuses, equating it to nations facing or have faced genocide. Originally created by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and part of the AbortionNO movement, GAP has been mobile on college campuses around the nation since 1997 and has previously displayed on UO’s campus several times.
Everything GAP does is not only repulsive and disturbing, it goes to the extent of being racist, sexist and offensive to anybody who opposes seeing images of dead fetuses on their way to class, which I believe is the majority of UO students. Placing the images next to photos of Holocaust and lynching victims is GAP’s absurd tactic of comparing abortion to genocide. Although GAP is exercising its free speech rights, it’s doing it in the most repugnant way possible.
What are students to do about this egregious display? For those who want to ignore the demonstration: pay no attention to it at all. Students who want to get from one class to another should not give GAP the pleasure of their attention. GAP would rather see appalled students before indifferent students. This should be the strategy for anyone who isn’t interested in protesting.
But for those who want to protest: be loud. Have your voice heard and exercise your free speech rights to denounce GAP’s display. Students who want to protest can join the organized Facebook event created by the University of Oregon’s Student for Choice. The group will hold a peaceful counter-protest designed to criticize GAP’s rhetoric and direct distressed students to the UO Women’s Center in the EMU as a safe space.
This is a time for UO students who believe in choice to come together and fight against a movement that promotes hate, racism and sexism. Our campus voice is stronger together.