Anti-abortion display draws more protesters

Angelo Gargaro

Group says purpose of images is to inform

A representative from the Center for Bio-Ethical reform stands in front of the anti-abortion display at Risman Plaza yesterday. SAM TWAREK | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

CHECK OUT photos from the game.

Risman Plaza was immersed in controversial anti-abortion images again yesterday, drawing even more students, protesters and onlookers.

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform set up the circle of what some students called offensive images for the second straight day. Mark Harrington, Midwest region director for the center, said there was more of a crowd yesterday than Monday.

“We had more students come out. The protesters have grown in numbers and are a little bit more vocal today with some more chants,” Harrington said.

“Get up, get down – we chased those bigots out of town,” was one of many chants protesters shouted.

Harrington said the protesters didn’t have much to say to the anti-abortion staff, but students and passers-by did.

“The protesters generally stay over there,” Harrington said. “We’d love to have conversation with them.”

Jeremy Radabaugh, seven-year Kent resident, said he has been an abortion rights activist for several years.

“The reason why we are out here is to counterprotest these people and to have a response to show that there is opposition to this,” Radabaugh said. “There are people who support abortion rights on college campuses.”

Radabaugh said their goal is to inform people on the issue and continue to allow women the right to choose.

“Unfortunately there are people on the fence,” he said. “Some people go to their side and other people join our side when they’re not as informed about the issue as we are.”

Nancy Griffith, a 42-year-old student at Kent State and an abortion rights activist, thanked Harrington personally for coming out.

“I wanted him to know that I do believe in the right of free speech. I appreciate it – I fight for it,” Griffith said. “I wanted him to know that it is a great thing when we can come together, we might not have the same beliefs, and have a dialog about what we do believe because that just continues to make me more informed and solidifies my beliefs and convictions, and he has the right to do the same thing.”

Harrington said he was pleased overall with the past two days at Kent State.

“I think everyone has been civil in our discussion of this difficult question,” he said. “But we will be back.”

Griffith said this wasn’t a win/lose situation, rather a chance for students to learn more and become better informed.

“That’s my goal in life – to be as self-aware as I possibly can and still love my brothers and my sisters – which I do.”

Contact general assignment reporter Angelo Gargaro at [email protected].