Abortion display during Homecoming attracts attention

Seth Drayer, a 28-year-old from Columbus, Ohio is an advocate speaking in favor of voting pro-life. He travels the country speaking out for his passion. “I think it’s age-based discrimination,” said Drayer. “I’m here to end the killing of humans simply because of their age and to engage dialogue for a greater cause.”

Taylor Harrison

The Homecoming parade wasn’t the only thing attracting attention on Friday.

WKU’s Hilltoppers for Life and anti-abortion Created Equal sponsored an exhibit at Centennial Mall that showcased images of fetuses and abortions. Created Equal travels to various colleges and high schools throughout the country displaying the graphic images.

Shepherdsville senior John Sohl, president of Hilltoppers for Life, said it was unintentional that the display occurred on the same day as the Homecoming parade, but that was the day Created Equal could come to campus.

“This was literally the only day on their calendar that they had available,” Sohl said.

Sohl said he wasn’t sure if they would be able to get a space on campus since it was on the same day as the parade, but they were able to secure Centennial Mall since no one else had rented it.

Sohl said his group is about “building up life”, even though they discuss controversial topics such as abortion.

“We’re looking at more building up a culture of life, creating dialogue and allowing people to talk,” Sohl said. “Because that’s how you convert people. We’re not fighting the pro-abortion people on campus. We’re fighting the apathetic or the ignorant people who don’t know or care about the issue. That’s all we’re doing.”

He said while the images are difficult to look at, it’s something the group does to show what abortion really is.

“We don’t want to show these images,” Sohl said. “I hate these images. This is very difficult to watch for myself. But it is very effective because we get dialogue, even with post-abortive women, even with children. We have to think, babies are dying every day just in this country.”

Mark Harrington, executive director of Created Equal, said they travel around showing these images of abortion and pre-natal development to stimulate debate. He said the impact of these images will be the same, even with a Homecoming event happening the same day.

“Our purposes are not to interrupt normal activities of the university,” Harrington said. “We’re about just stimulating debate and dialogue, so those two things can coexist.”

Kristina Arnold, associate professor of art at WKU, said some of her students came to her department and told her the display had offended them.

Arnold came to the Centennial mall with several students and sat in the middle of the display wearing a t-shirt that said “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal.” Arnold said she has been wearing this shirt because of the upcoming election and didn’t know about the event in advance.

“I thought that if this was going on, there needed to be another voice in the discussion,” Arnold said. “It’s offensive to me because it’s offensive to my students and I feel protective of the student body.”

One student who did not agree with the message behind the display, Alvaton junior Hilary Harlan, printed out fliers after finding out about the event.

“I ran to Mass Media and made little fliers of Joe Biden and his quote from the debate last week saying that personally he’s against abortion, but as a policy, he could never force a woman to carry a child, he could never take away her choice to her own body,” Harlan said.