This week on Tuesday morning I was sitting in the dining hall eating my lunch when I looked out the window upon some rather disturbing posters. Anti-choice advocates were standing outside near the pit holding photographs of aborted fetuses at various stages of development. The signs were really big and impossible to miss.
There are many reasons why people should not be walking around forcing others to look at bloody, graphic pictures.
First of all, why would these photographs convince anyone who is pro-choice to become anti-choice? I understand that the aim of the posters is to villainize the process and results of abortion, to make the person choosing abortion feel as if they are murdering children. And that is exactly why the posters are ineffective. Directly targeting someone and forcing your opinion on them never works, especially in today's time where people hold so strongly to their opinions. The posters are meant to make people feel like they are evil or bad, and they aim to convince those people that to be a moral person they must logically become anti-choice. But that is usually not going to work on people that are pro-choice. They will only become angry that the anti-choice advocates are trying to make them feel bad about themselves and they will feel more strongly against anti-choice and those who support it.
All that comes out of these posters is conflict and tension. No one is trying to understand the perspective of others. One group is just trying to shove their belief down the throat of the other side, causing the other group to start doing the same, resulting in nothing. No resolution, no one's mind is changed.
The graphic posters are also an issue because they could be personally triggering to students on campus that are supposed to feel safe and protected. There could be students on campus who have had abortions and these signs would not only remind those individuals of a time that they probably do not want to think about but they also would make those individuals feel guilty about even getting an abortion, even if the abortion was something they could not avoid getting.
No one deserves to feel as if they do not belong or unsafe on a campus that is supposed to protect and love them for who they are. UNC has not done a very good job of making its students feel safe and proud to be a UNC student this semester. All of the issues surrounding Silent Sam made many students feel unsafe and allowing these posters to be paraded around campus only contributes to that unsafe atmosphere started by Silent Sam. We need to do better.