The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Anti-abortion group Created Equal comes to campus, student react

Content warning: mentions of abortion and miscarriages

March 1, 2023

Anti-abortion displays and members of Created Equal, an anti-abortion organization, came to the SU plaza Tuesday afternoon. The graphic displays and pamphlets depicting aborted fetuses sparked a reaction from students, with some avoiding the group’s message in the rest and relaxation area nearby.

Organizers involved with Created Equal stood in front of the displays, holding pamphlets to give to students and passersby, with some interactions leading to conversations with members of the organization. 

Created Equal was founded in 2011 by president Mark Harrington, who says the main goal of the organization is to reach college students. 

“The idea is to stimulate dialogue on college campuses where we believe the dialogue has long since been ceased,” Harrington said.  

One of the members of Created Equal, Molly, an administrative assistant for the organization, hopes to have these open dialogues with students and gave more details about her anti-abortion stance.   

“I believe that science points to human life beginning at the moment of conception,” she said. “And so, I believe it’s always wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings.” 

Molly added why she feels that these displays are appropriate to set up for students and others passing by. 

“The images are graphic because abortion is, so just like we showed the victims of the Holocaust and of slavery, we also show these victims so that people see the brutal reality of abortion,” she said.

The anti-abortion displays led some students to take a different route while walking on campus to avoid seeing them. One student that was walking near the displays, senior social work major Broke Bridewell, said she was approached by one of the organizers after trying to avoid the displays. 

Bridewell mentioned how she wanted to hear what the organizers had to say, even though she had some disagreements about the organization’s stance on abortion. 

“I’m a Christian, so I have my own thoughts and discernments about abortion. I was interested in talking to [Molly] and seeing what she had to say, and I respect her argument,” Bridewell said. “I respect how she feels about abortion, because I respect everyone and how they feel. I don’t really agree with what she was saying.” 

Bridewell wishes there would’ve been some sort of trigger warning for the anti-abortion displays, especially for those with personal experiences with abortion and even miscarriages. 

“There just has to be a trigger warning of some sort, because there are people on this campus that have had miscarriages,” Bridewell said. “There’s people on this campus who have had a traumatic relationship with abortion, and it’s not fair to use visual representation to trigger an emotional response out of people, especially on a campus full of young people who are probably still forming their thoughts about it.”

Reactions among other students led to counter-demonstrations against the anti-abortion group. Cassidy Wagner, sophomore communication studies major, was a part of organizing what they called a “counter-protest through happiness” on behalf of the Center of Student Inclusiveness. Wagner and other students with the organization directed students to a safe space in SU 102, where students could destress by coloring and viewing signs that have words of affirmation on them.

Wagner feels that abortion is medical care and hopes these safe spaces can benefit students that feel offended by the displays.  

“Any students who are concerned about the increasing violence towards this form of medical care from NKU need to know that they are valid and that there are places where they can be safe,” Wagner said. 

Other students who spoke to members of the organization stated their concerns about not being able to receive an abortion, like freshman integrative studies and acting major Lily Hoykewicz, who was in the plaza wearing a shirt that said “abort court.” 

“This issue is something I am really passionate about. The thought of not having control of my own body is horrifying, and I don’t want anyone else to be stuck in that situation,” she said. 

For more information about Created Equal, click here. For more information about the Center for Student Inclusiveness, click here.

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