Anti-abortion organization draws crowd in front of Raynor Library


Photo by Bryan Geenen

SPARK will be online this summer.

Created Equal, a national anti-abortion organization, set up graphic posters and signs on the sidewalks in front of Raynor Library this morning to attempt to talk to students at Marquette about anti-abortion.

“Created Equal is creating a dialogue on college campuses using graphic imagery of abortions,” Evangeline Dunn, a full-time staff member for Created Equal, said. “We’re on this trip called The Road Trip for Life, where we go to a university every single day and we’re in a different state every week.”

Marquette University is one of five colleges in Wisconsin Created Equal is visiting. The organization will also be visiting University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Madison Area Technical College.

The group drew a crowd of Marquette students across the street in protest to Created Equal. Shannon O’Connor, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was a part of that group.

“We’re out protesting the pro-birthers because they are supposedly protesting abortion but we don’t agree with them,” O’Connor said. “A woman’s body is her choice and we believe that if she chooses to have an abortion, she should be able to make that choice by herself.”

Aishah Mahmood, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, also came to protest Created Equal when she heard of what was happening.

“I heard that these signs were out here and it’s absurd that people have to be berated with these disgusting, violent images,” Mahmood said.

Officers from the Marquette University Police Department stepped in when individuals from each side started yelling at one another. A police officer declined to comment at the scene.

University spokesperson Chris Stolarski said institutions of higher education are places of public dialogue and vigorous discourse of compelling issues.

Lexi Elandt, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said she thinks the protests are out of line.

“I think everyone should respect each other’s opinions,” Elandt said. “Obviously it’s a very controversial topic, but I just don’t think it should be discussed at this kind of platform. I don’t think it should be affecting people as they’re walking to class.”

“The 500-year-old tradition of Catholic, Jesuit education is grounded in the discovery of knowledge and the sharing of diverse viewpoints — political or otherwise,” Stolarski said in an email. “Faculty, staff, students and members of the public have a free speech right to distribute materials on public sidewalks — the university does not control information or materials that are handed out on public sidewalks.”