By Andrew Edwards
Show the Truth Washington State, a pro-life group known for their graphic displays of late-term abortions, demonstrated in front of Syre Student Center on Wednesday, October 10.
“We’re here to educate,” said Tom Hruska, director of the organization. “We’re here to show the truth.”
Some students seemed shocked as they passed by, and a small crowd formed around the tables in front of the display, among them was a mother who covered her child’s eyes.
“Regardless of how you feel about the abortion discussion, I was mostly offended by the presentation,” said student Eric Ross Mckenzie. He said that the demonstrators were only showing one side of a complex issue and that the signs were only meant to shock and indoctrinate.
“America will not stop abortion until it sees abortion,” said the Rev. Denis Wilde, the visiting associate director of Priests for Life, an organization that campaigns against abortion. “This is not shown by the media.”
During the demonstration, a female student, Annalisa Foster, sat next to the protesters and held up a notebook page which simply read “pro-choice.” She was joined by two others who sat in quiet opposition.
“They refuse to show both sides of the issue,” Foster said. “They’re conditioning us to think that abortion is bad.” While abortion should not replace regular forms of contraception, she said, “it’s something that needs to be allowed in society.”
“We’re very pro-woman,” said Wilde, however, he does not agree with the “misnomer of a woman’s right to choose.” Once a woman becomes pregnant, Wilde said, she becomes a mother and is no longer making choices only on her own behalf.
Foster said that women are entitled to making their own choices about their bodies and no other person can make those choices for them. “A person can be a mother to anybody, but not just anybody can be a mother,” she said.
Show the Truth Washington State frequently demonstrates on college campuses, as well as in front of Planned Parenthood centers in an effort to stop women from seeking abortions.
Several of the group’s signs are critical of Planned Parenthood, since it is the largest abortion provider in the country, Hruska said. The organization receives over 380 million dollars a year in government funding, he said, and that number grows every year.
Mckenzie said that it is unfair of the group to not provide more information about Planned Parenthood since they offer many important services besides abortion. He said that only showing graphic images of late term abortions delegitimizes the organization and the positive impact it makes.
The reason Planned Parenthood is subsidized by the government is to provide low cost healthcare to many women who may be uninsured or underprivileged, Mckenzie said.
In 2008 contraception accounted for 35 percent of all services provided by Planned Parenthood, treatments and screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases accounted for 34 percent of services. Abortion procedures, including abortion by medication, made up three percent of services provided.