Abortion protestors posted themselves outside of residence and academic halls as well as Downer Commons this past Monday, distributing pamphlets to students on their way out of morning classes. The protestors, who had not notified campus services of their intentions before entering Lawrence private property, positioned themselves near the doorways of several residence halls as well as along sidewalks which bordered public streets.
They distributed pamphlets with black and white covers that read: “Planned Parenthood admits that abortion is the killing of a baby!”
The pamphlets were manufactured by Missionaries to the Preborn and contained detailed images of aborted fetuses on the inside, an ad from the Mercy Seat Christian Church, and anti-Planned Parenthood statements concerning abortion.
The protestors were met with mixed feelings by members of the Lawrence community. Several students reported seeing open debates between Lawrence students and the protestors. Sophomore Sarada Earnshaw printed pamphlets of her own which read “My body, my choice.” She distributed these pamphlets to the protestors.
“I found some of the protestors were willing to listen to what I had to say and that others were not,” said Earnshaw.
Other students took more indirect actions. Senior Megan McGlone initially ignored the pamphleteers, but, after viewing the contents of a pamphlet given to a friend, decided to take action against them.
“I called security to alert them of the protestors’ presence on campus. Security said I had to call campus events to find out if they were authorized to be here. When I called campus events, they said they didn’t have permission to be here and that they would take care of it,” said McGlone.
When asked what actions were taken towards the protestors, a Lawrence Security official said, “We couldn’t do anything because the protestors were on public sidewalks. They were within the limits of protesting.”
The same official did acknowledge that the brick-laid area behind Main Hall and the sidewalks adjacent to it, where other protestors aligned themselves, were not public property.