UNC Charlotte students ‘traumatized’ over graphic anti-abortion demonstrations on campus

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform received a permit to set up its Genocide Awareness Project on campus.
No police reports or incident reports substantiating behavior that would constitute unprotected speech have been received at this time.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some students on the campus of UNC Charlotte are expressing outrage over anti-abortion demonstrators sharing graphic images on campus this week.

A group called the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform set up displays of its Genocide Awareness Project on Wednesday and Thursday.

The displays included photos of what they say are aborted fetuses, equating abortion to genocide.

The group also visited other schools across the state, including UNC Chapel Hill this week.

Some students on campus say they were horrified by the images and claim they were heckled and met with aggressive behavior by demonstrators.

Hollie Mitchel, a senior on the campus, said the images were disturbing and bizarre.

“Comparing abortion to the holocaust, and comparing abortion to the genocide of Native Americans,” Mitchel said. “They were trying to shove fliers into peoples’ hands. At one point as I walking around taking pictures, I heard them use racial slurs against a couple of students of color.”

Student Phoenix Riesing said she was so appalled, she called the campus safety emergency line.

“They want to tell us that that’s their First-Amendment right,” Riesing said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for UNC Charlotte told WBTV:

“The Genocide Awareness Project was not invited to campus by UNC Charlotte, and its views do not represent those of the University, The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, an external organization, reserved space on campus for GAP. The group routinely visits college and university campuses around the U.S. and Canada.

UNC Charlotte is a public university and has a responsibility and legal obligation to uphold free speech, including the right of outside organizations to reserve space on our campuses. The University has established protocols to create and sustain an environment where freedom of speech and expression is supported regardless of the viewpoint of the speaker.

University leaders are aware of the alleged harassment claims circulating on social media. However, no police reports or incident reports substantiating behavior that would constitute unprotected speech have been received at this time. Staff representatives were present with the GAP group and counter protesters during the event. Counselors from the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services were also present during a portion of the display event.”

Dr. John Cox, a professor who teaches Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies at UNCC, disagrees.

“The First Amendment and free speech really does not mean that everyone has the right to say or do whatever they want in every location,” Dr. Cox said. “If that’s what it meant then I guess UNCC would have to invite the Klan and the Nazi party to come and set up a gigantic display for three days.”

He said emails from traumatized students are pouring in, alleging behavior from demonstrators that included shouting racial slurs.

He’s calling for action.

“I think someone should be fired for what happened yesterday, this is too much,” he said.

WBTV reached out to the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform regarding the claims demonstrators were being aggressive and using racial slurs.

A spokesperson for the center told WBTV that they read a quote from Reverend Jesse Jackson that included the N word, but claims that demonstrators were not calling anyone that term.

“We were on campus with our team for two days, which has been our practice for 2 decades. We reserve the third day as a backup plan in case of severe weather. We had good weather, so we were at UNCC on Wednesday and Thursday, as planned.

Everywhere we go, pro-abortion students and professors try to change the subject with false accusations. They see inconvenient truth they don’t like and call it “harassment.” Bullies, being unable to justify decapitating and dismembering little human beings, try to suppress the horrifying evidence of their brutality. These gimmicks don’t work because we aggressively defend our right, and the right of all citizens, to speak in the public square without being censored by a lawless mob.

Pro-abortion bullies who try (unsuccessfully) to get us removed from campus should be made to answer one simple question: If abortion is too horrifying to see, how can it be OK to do?”

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