Anti-abortion group sparks conflict and educates

Team+member+Daniel+Rivera+spent+most+of+the+day+explaining+the+effects+of+abortions+at+Cerritos+College.

Laura Chau/TM

Team member Daniel Rivera spent most of the day explaining the effects of abortions at Cerritos College.

Victor Diaz

Survivors, an anti-abortion group, set up stands around campus last Tuesday informing students about the effects of abortion.

Members of the group handed out flyers and tabloids with various nationwide abortion statistics.

Campus Outreach Director Kristine Garza said, “We go to college campuses to educate about abortion in the hopes that people will realize what abortion does to babies and to women and that, hopefully, they’ll choose life.”

Team members such as Daniel Rivera spent the day providing several statistics to students, such as the statistic that 53 million babies were killed in the U.S. last year, averaging 500 babies on a daily basis.

Rivera also mentions that the group received mixed reactions from students that walked by and observed the displays, which featured pictures of unborn fetuses and illustrations of the abortion process.

“So far, people have been interested and some people don’t really like us so they’ll give us rude remarks or they might want to learn more about it,” Rivera said.

Garza adds on, “Many people are thankful that we’re here and educating what this does.

“Many people know what abortion is, but when you see the visual, that really makes it click.”

She also mentioned that students that were sitting on the hill in Falcon Square claimed they could not eat after seeing the many signs being displayed.

Garza said that Cerritos was a stop on what is called a “Campus Life Tour,” a nationwide tour that Survivors takes part in, visiting schools such as San Bernardino Valley College, Cypress College and Santa Monica College.

Later that day, two Campus Police officers approached Garza’s group and informed them that they had been receiving complaints of “pushing and shoving” around the group’s stands.

However, Garza claims to have video evidence that can prove that there had not been “so much as a violent comment” from passers-by.

Garza also said that the officers had stopped two of the group’s volunteers from passing out information because they were not an official part of the group and therefore did not have a permit to distribute on the group’s behalf.

“We’re trying to be compliant, we’re not trying to cause any trouble,” she said.

“The fact that we need permits to be out here is unconstitutional. The First Amendment says that we have the freedom of speech, and this is a college campus.

“We are constitutionally protected to hand out literature anywhere on this campus.”

For child development major Sylvia Deharo, seeing Survivors’ anti-abortion displays affected her very deeply.

“A couple of years back, I thought abortion wasn’t that big of a deal, but now I know about it through the poster-boards,” she said.