Both sides of the fence

“Warning: Genocide Photos Ahead,” read the signs at each entrance to the Mall Area on campus.Justice For All, a pro-life organization from Wichita, Kan., demonstrated against abortion with a photographic display of genocide in the Mall Area Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Directly across from the graphic pictures displayed, a petition was set up by SHSU students to prevent the group from future presentations on our campus.Lindsay Bright, freshman theatre major, took a stand against the pictures shown in the mall area. She and two friends, Roxanna Collingwood, also a freshman theatre major, and BJ Campbell, freshman computer science major, established a petition for students to sign in hopes of preventing Justice For All from coming back. They spent both days the organization was on campus outside from 9 a.m. to at least 3:30 p.m. Bright said she decided to lobby against the organization in this way because the university can’t legally make them leave. Bright said she petitioned because of respect issues. “I’m not against what they’re trying to say; I’m just against the pictures being put up in the middle of campus,” Bright said. “I agree with the First Amendment, but with rights comes responsibilities.” Bright said the pictures are disturbing and offensive to everyone, not only to those who have had abortions or are pro-choice. Next year she plans to recruit student organizations in her cause and completely block the display. “It’s amazing how it’s so negatively affecting this campus,” Bright said. “A lot of people I’d like to reach are avoiding the area completely.”Respecting Life is the pro-life student organization responsible for inviting Justice For All to SHSU. “Our goal is to educate people on abortion and other bioethical issues,” said Brook McGuire, president of Respecting Life. She found out about Justice For All when they visited the SHSU campus a year and a half ago. “At first I was angry because I knew once I saw (the pictures), I had to do something about it,” McGuire said. McGuire also said that even though some students strongly disagree with the demonstration, when Justice For All comes back to Texas, she would invite them back.According to the pamphlet the organization handed out to inquiring students and faculty, “the mission of Justice For All is to create debate, change hearts and save lives. This is accomplished through the presentation of an outdoor photo exhibit that is placed upon college and university campuses.” Some students had no problem with the Justice For All exhibit. “I’m pro-life and I think it’s really good they brought the pictures. It’s here and it’s real and it’s happening every day,” said sophomore Trisha Itz. “It’s graphic, but it’s reality though,” said junior Damon Miles. Many other students found the pictures vulgar and offensive. Senior Robbin Phelps said, “I’m pro-life and it’s offensive to me.” “It was offensive. They can get their point across in a more appropriate manner,” said senior Charlie Stevens. “I think it’s truthful and I think it’s the facts that nobody wants to see, but I didn’t really want to see the pictures,” said senior Frank Polk. Junior Brad Herridge said he thinks “there’s a time and a place for everything, and this is not the place. I don’t really approve of it.”Justice For All was founded in 1993 and has been going to college campuses nationwide for four and one half years now.David Lee, founder and director of Justice For All, felt that abortion was an issue not enough people paid attention to when he started the organization. He started by founding a crisis pregnancy center in Kansas, and continued his career with Justice For All as a group local to Wichita. He said he is trying to change hearts and minds about abortion, and he feels that the greatest number of abortions performed are out of selfishness. “These (aborted) kids need a voice; they need someone to speak up for them,” said Lee. “We want people to look into the facts of abortion, not to just go with the flow.”The non-profit organization has 10 staff members and sometimes staffs volunteers. Tammy Cook, administrative director for Justice For All said the group typically changes many minds on the issue. “It has been very effective,” Cook said. “We’re here to create a debate about an issue that many people haven’t made a decision about one way or the other.” Cook has worked for Justice For All for seven years now. “I’ve always been against abortion and wanted to get actively involved in helping people understand how horrible it is,” she said.Jim Spencer, attorney for Justice For All, said in order for the group to come to a campus, they must be invited by some student organization. He has been employed by the group since 1996, and is currently involved in two lawsuits against college campuses. The Pro-Life Cougars at the University of Houston invited Justice For All to their campus in March of 2001, but U of H denied the exhibit access to campus. The Pro-Life Cougars in turn sued the university, won the case, and Justice For All went back to U of H in June. In February of 2001, a Longhorn student organization invited Justice For All to visit the University of Texas, but UT insisted the exhibit be censored. All Web site URLs, telephone numbers and resources were to be blacked out or ripped out of all pamphlets. The student club is currently suing the university. “I don’t know anyway we’d get (kicked) off campus. We don’t do violent stuff,” Spencer said. The pamphlet passed out by Justice For All printed incorrect information regarding abortions. Page eight of the pamphlet states that abortions are “legal for any reason” and can be performed “legal(ly) throughout all nine months of pregnancy.” According to the National Abortion Federation, “very few abortions are provided in the third trimester and they are generally limited to cases of severe fetal abnormalities or situations when the life or health of the pregnant woman is seriously threatened.” For more information on abortion education, visit or

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