By Rachel Armstrong
Hello, University Women (and men)! Women’s Center Communications Intern speaking. Our Feisty Femmes blog is up and running once again, and in dire need of a makeover and some updates. However, that will have to wait, because we have a controversial topic to discuss.
Today, the Genocide Awareness Project visited the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, setting up camp in front of Coffman Memorial Union. This sounds like a positive thing, I’m aware–Someone promoting awareness of genocide in foreign countries? When I heard some of my colleagues discussing their impending arrival last week, I was surprised to hear their negative attitudes in regards to GAP. However, the program doesn’t exactly live up to its seemingly positive, proactive title.
The Genocide Awareness Project is a mobile photo-mural exhibit which travels from college campus to college campus, “educating” students on the subject of abortion. GAP is a Pro-Life organization. This in itself is not the issue (Everyone is entitled to their own stance on a controversial issue such as abortion, as well as the right to free speech). I was extremely offended, however, by their educational methods.
The Genocide Awareness Project displays giant, mural-sized pictures of aborted fetuses and places them next to photos from internationally recognized historical genocides–E.g., a photograph of an aborted fetus next to a photograph of a pile of Holocaust victims.
Personally, I find this disturbing and offensive, not only to those who know people who have been touched by genocide or hate crimes, but to humanity in general and victims of any type of abuse. Comparing abortion to the Holocaust? To images of butchered children in Rwanda and Cambodian killing fields? In addition, one sign shows a battered young boy next to a picture of an aborted fetus and asks, “Should government permit child abuse?”
They even go so far as to compare the “destruction” that Planned Parenthood has caused upon this nation to the tragedies of 9/11’s terrorist attack and the Empire of Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor. Clearly, a clinic that provides free family planning information and materials is a destructive force of genocide. I’m not trying to start a Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice debate–This discussion is purely focused on the questionable methods chosen by GAP. Keep in mind that, according to the GAP website, the program only visits campuses to which it has been invited by an affiliated campus student group.
Here, check it out for yourself and tell us what you think:
http://www.abortionno.org/gap.html. Did you have a run-in with this organization? Share it! We want to hear from you as well.