Hundreds of students lost their appetites when they walked past the pictures of bloody fetuses displayed on the Reitz Union North Lawn and the Plaza of the Americas Monday.

The presentation, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., was part of the Genocide Awareness Project, an anti-abortion campaign that draws parallels between abortion and genocide by showing graphic pictures of dead genocide victims alongside equally graphic pictures of aborted fetuses.

"It's by showing these pictures that we can make abortion unthinkable," said Lukas Bebjak, a representative for the Center for Bioethical Reform, an anti-abortion organization that cosponsored the event with the UF Pro-Life Alliance. "Like slavery, 150 years from now, people will look at [abortion] and say, ‘How did we let this happen?'"

The fenced-in displays also attracted about a dozen sign-holding protesters from Planned Parenthood.

"They're using atrocities in history to make a political statement," said Natalie Muniz, the director of education and communication for Planned Parenthood of North Florida. "We're just here to educate. If a woman has an unwanted pregnancy in this country, she has options. That's a good thing."

Students had the option of voicing their opinions and asking event staff questions during an open microphone session.

Most questions focused on the differences between genocide and abortion.

"The difference is that the [unborn] are not aware of anything," said freshman Kenya Johnson. "I think abortion is wrong most of the time, but there is a difference."

Nick Tomlinson, a senior geography major, disagreed.

"[A fetus] is just a string of cells," Tomlinson said. "It's not a human yet. That's the difference."

Some students walked by without engaging in the discussion.

"What bothers me most is people who walk by and pay no attention," Bebjak said. "Either yell and disagree with us or stop and talk. This is too important an issue to be ignored either way."

The Genocide Awareness Project will be on display at the Reitz Union North Lawn and on the Plaza of the Americas until Tuesday at 5 p.m.

(8) comments

gville123

I don't understand how an AMERICAN would be for some genocide and against others... America was founded on the genocide of the american indians. You have no moral objection to that...

kershawdw

Abortion and genocide are completely separate issue and for anyone to say otherwise screams of ignorance. Trying to make a correlation where there isn't one is pathetic and desperate.

mpdude8

Not saying I necessarily agree with any of this, but if you're able to establish a fetus as being human at conception, abortion (the deliberate killing of 3,600 fetuses each day) would quality as a genocide.

Kingsley

The protesters from planned parenthood (wearing pink) were told to not to comment, argue, or discuss the issue. Many remained silent, and were simply "presenting and opposing view". Yet in their silence, I heard no objections to abortion being genocide, other than "it isn't genocide".

Not that I agree entirely. Genocide is just a word. I can call the process genocide, or I can call it abortion; regardless, it is still the same process. Biology shows us that a fetus at conception is more than "a string of cells", a term that sounds more like inaccurate programming jargon than of a fetus. A fetus has DNA, human DNA at that. It is human. The question is not whether a fetus is human or not, but whether it is alive or not. This is a hard and controversial question to answer. Regardless, this can be said: abortion prevents a life from further happening, just as a murder prevents a life from further happening.

RandyCrawford

Babies are alive and growing from conception. The only way for the fertilized egg to divide into two cells is to be alive. Dead cells can't divide. Their descendant cells are alive, going from two to four to eight cells, and their and theirs until there are millions, then billions of living cells to make the baby. All these cells have to be alive for the whole 9 months, every minute, otherwise the baby couldn't grow. Where there is growth, there is life. You can't grow without being alive.

passionate

A group of African Americans in Georgia were saying this very thing....if you are aware of the history of the women and (systematic deliberate approach) to that end it indeed has taken a "genocide effect" on that population. Plus, this has been very damaging to the girls and women who have gone through it - they have all but been silenced by the media because it taints the pro-abortion message. The real issues are not seriously addressed

south paw

I think these Anti-abortionist are being manipulative and disingenuous. I don't think they are sinister people, but that they're just brain dead when it comes to this issue. Where is their reasoned arguments for defending what they believe? It's just "look at these shocking and gross pictures that are placed next to pictures of actual genocide which is universally agreed upon as being evil, associate the two because they're next to each other, and agree with what we think based on emotion."

Fetuses are gross, just like everything on the inside of our bodies. They could have shown pictures of genocide along with people getting their appendix removed because people sometimes die having their appendix removed. They could have done that, but most people would have concluded that they were being callous, perhaps morally bankrupt, or that they just had a very detached sense of the value of human Life. Yet somehow we are expected to regard them as otherwise because they used pictures of fetuses. If you don't believe abortion is right, then by all means be against abortion, but please don't use some gimmicky trick you conjured up after taking psychology 101 to try and manipulate your fellow classmates.

Abortion != genocide. Abortion!=murder, If it really did why don't we ever hear anti-abortion activists trying to prevent vanishing twin syndrome, and chemical pregnancies? Together they represent a very large contribution to the total number of abortions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_twin

http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/chemical-pregnancy.html

Abortion is a complex issue, and extremist emotionally driven people who use ridiculous attention grabbing stunts are a major obstacle to ever getting a worthwhile or meaningful discussion going at the public level.
Thanks for reading what I had to say.

gator007

I understand that the method used by Genocide Awareness Project was extreme, and many students were turned off by their display. However, it seems unreasonable that you would compare a growing "clump of cells" or "fetus" to a person getting their appendix removed. Within the first four weeks a fetus has a heartbeat and the developing organs and spinal cord. Does an appendix have a heartbeat? Will the organ grow into a living and breathing human being? We once were one cell that continued to divide and develop as well. As for the argument of vanishing twin pregnancies and chemical pregnancies, these are not instances where the woman is choosing to abort her child. These instances are known as miscarriages which occur naturally often due to chromosomal abnormalities or hostile uterine environment preventing growth. Abortion is the choosing to end a growing life inside of a woman. I am not against choice for women if you are talking about choosing the foods you eat or way you spend your day. However, I also consider the choice of the child within the woman who has a right to life just as anyone else. Thank your mother for choosing life, because her choice allowed you to have life!

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