Created Equal to host ‘controversial’ anti-abortion protest on Risman Plaza

Zaria Johnson, Editor-In-Chief

The anti-abortion group Created Equal will be on Risman Plaza Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to display signage depicting “the gruesome reality of abortions,” and to “engage students in conversation about this human injustice,” according to a Wednesday press release from founder and President Mark Harrington.

 

Through their Justice Ride program, Created Equal aims to “transform students from across the nation into a family of preborn defenders,” according to the website.

 

Justice Ride takes students to college campuses to spark conversation about abortion rights, “and share the healing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with men and women in pain from previous abortions,” the website stated.

 

Their outreach grew following the passing of the Texas Heartbeat Bill, which bans abortions once an ultrasound can detect a heartbeat, and the impending decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenges the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

 

“We have faced problems with administrations attempting to censor our content, police taking down our signs and violating our free speech rights, crowds of protestors, people stealing and vandalizing signs, our signs being thrown in the trash, and more,” Harrington said.

 

As a public university, Kent State is required by law to allow individuals and groups on its campuses “to present their beliefs and causes,” according to an email sent Wednesday from Lamar Hylton, senior vice president for student affairs, and Mark Polatajko, senior vice president for finance and administration.

 

Outside groups must register their events with the university beforehand to ensure they adhere to the event and activities requirements and guidelines. Whenever an outside group visits campus, the university will take steps to address logistical and safety concerns, the press release stated.

 

The Kent State community should be prepared for group gatherings on campus to advocate for their beliefs and causes, the press release stated.

 

Those with concerns about an on-campus gathering can call the Division of Student Affairs at 330-672-4050, the press release stated. For safety concerns relating to an on-campus gathering, call the Kent State Police at 330-672-2212.

 

Hylton and Polatajko advised students to take advantage of university resources before the end of the spring semester, including the Academic Success Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Step Up and Speak Out and the Office of the Student Ombuds.

Faculty and staff resources can be found through Impact Solutions.

 

Zaria Johnson is editor-in-chief. Contact her at [email protected]