Students protest anti-abortion group visiting the campus


David Jenkins

Social work major Barbara Munyon questioning the position of the "Genocide Awareness Project." She was told to get back behind the fence by officers near by. Photo credit: David Jenkins

Monique Nethington

To the dismay of students on campus, the school has allowed The Center for Bioethical Reform to return to Falcon Square on Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9.

Charlie Peterson, anthropology major, stood up against the group on Monday, May 8 saying, “It’s propaganda. This isn’t a matter of free speech, this a matter of medical misinformation.”

He stated that this type of demonstration creates an unsafe environment for the women on the Cerritos campus.

The group first came to the school on Tuesday, March 28 Where it was met with a small gathering of pro-choice student who protested the group being on campus.

During this first demonstration the center had just medium-sized display that portrayed graphic images of an abortion.

The students that had gather attempted to block the graphic images, but were later asked to move away from the center’s display.

During the latest visit the center brought a 30-feet-high display of graphic images, which displayed the aftermath of an abortion, as well as different genocides that have occurred in history.

It’s stance is that abortion can be equated to genocide.

According the centers website the group goal is to establish “prenatal justice and the right to life of the unborn.”

Kevin Olivier, Director of Operations at the center, said that the main reason it was on campus was to educate students about abortions and what a baby looks like between fertilization and birth.

“We want to show that abortion is an act of violence,” Olivier said, “that actually decapitates and dismember a real human being.”

Early in the morning Peterson gathered up signs of his own in protest of the center, and in favor of a woman’s choice to have an abortion.

“I didn’t plan a lot of this,” he said. “I just kind of showed with posters.”

What angered him the most about the whole demonstration was not that the were there, but that the school allowed them to be there.

“I feel really disappointed in Cerritos College for not taking a stand to protect its students from this.”

He said that these images are unavoidable, and that regardless of warning signs students have to walk past the graphic images to go to class.

As the day went on more people began to join Peterson.

One of those students was computer science and engineering major Jamie Bogacz who said he was unaware the demonstration was even going to be taking place.

“People have to see it when they go to their class,” he said. “They have no choice, but to see it.”

He claims that the images are imposing especially since they are right in front of the students center.

He said, “People don’t want to see this before they eat.”

Peterson said, the center’s information and photos are false.

“None of their source [are displayed,]” he said, “They don’t have any medical, scientific or government information.”

He then pointed out that he made a point to include all of his sources on his posters.

“They aren’t coming here with scientific information,” he said.

According to Peterson a lot of the images that the center used have already been proven false.

“They are over simplifying a complicated issue.”