Anti-choice demonstration is dangerous and shameful

I was disappointed to find no information addressing last week’s anti-choice demonstration occurring in Northrop Mall. For the University of Minnesota to allow such a graphic, polarizing demonstration to take place in such a high-traffic area that students cannot avoid when walking to class is ultimately irresponsible.

Students were offered little warning about what they would find upon entering that area, preventing them from being emotionally and mentally prepared. I understand that everyone has the right to free speech but just because one has this freedom does not mean that it is appropriate, respectful or useful to use it in all situations. It is important to encourage public discourse about controversial topics, such as abortion, to ensure that everyone has access to the necessary information to make informed decisions. However, erecting such disgusting images for shock-value goes beyond public discourse and encroaches into the territory of emotional and psychological bullying. Anyone who has had an experience with abortion in their lifetime is likely to be affected by those images in terrible ways, and by allowing them to be posted, the University shows blatant disregard for the mental and emotional health of those women and men.

It is important for people to understand that the decision to have an abortion is a very serious, deeply emotional choice and that all women carefully consider their options. Allowing groups that diminish the depth of this decision into a series of careless, disgusting images is unacceptable. I am ashamed to be a part of a school that encourages this type of demonstration.