Hannah Smith became so disturbed by the “gruesome” abortion pictures she saw on the way to class Tuesday that she pushed over four signs.
The 20-year-old shook with rage and disgust thinking about the images during class.
“You go on campus, and you aren’t expecting to see pictures of dismembered bodies and blood,” Smith, a UF political science junior, said. “They are not conducive to a learning environment.”
The signs she saw were put up by Created Equal, an anti-abortion training program for younger generations to debate abortion on college campuses around America, said Mark Harrington, president of the organization. The program facilitates Justice Rides, which are week-long events where activists can speak and educate about abortion.
Tuesday and today about 50 student activists with Created Equal displayed large abortion and prenatal images on Turlington Plaza and the North Lawn from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The activists spoke with students passing by and handed out flyers.
“Some people believe it is controversial because it is hard to deny what you are seeing,” Harrington said. “Once you come to the conclusion that it is killing the child, a lot of folks that believe abortion is okay don’t like that we are showing people.”
The Alligator spoke to the President Mark Harrington and spokesperson Lauren Metz.
Here are five things about Created Equal:
1. Some of the photos displayed on campus were found in a dumpster and photographed years ago. Others were from a doctor who performs abortions who was paid to let a photographer take photos of an aborted fetus. Created Equal did not pay for the photographing of the photos on campus. The organization did not disclose how it obtained the pictures due to security reasons. Created Equal has possession of signed affidavits from a person who performed abortions and the photographer for its authenticity.
2. Created Equal has made stops at UF at least three times in the past five years. Harrington said Florida is a regular stopping place for Created Equal because it is a key state when it comes abortion politics. Additionally, there are many large public universities.
3. Created Equal partakes in two Justice Rides a year, in the spring and summer. Justice Ride comes to Florida every spring. The summer locations vary and have included Washington, D.C., Ohio and Alabama. The name Justice Ride was inspired by 1960s Freedom Rides.
4. Both high school and college students from any state can participate in a Justice Ride. Students have to submit an application and go through an interview process. Students are then trained to make cases against abortion.
5. The staff members and chaperones wear GoPros to record, mainly for safety or for notable conversations.