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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

UPDATED: Anti-abortion display ignites debate on campus

Heated debate stays civil during Constitution Day controversy

Christopher Geanakos | Editor in Chief
[email protected]
Additional reporting by Genevieve Jerome, Randy BriggsJuan De Anda and Robert Pace.
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Updated on 9/29/2009 at 7:34 PM

An anti-abortion group sparked debate among City College students and faculty members Sept. 16-17 with an exhibit on the Quad showing photographs of aborted fetuses.

Exhibit speaker Howard Blythe said its purpose was to facilitate dialogue on abortion and was part of scheduled events for the Associated Student Government-sponsored Constitution Day.

Many on campus expressed different points of view about the exhibit.
“It is very sad to see these pictures,” criminal justice major Robert Adams said. “If I got a girl pregnant, I could never ask her to do this to a child after seeing these pictures.”

Psychology major Leah Gaston said she found the display unsettling.
“It’s really gross and really disgusting and some of them [the pictures] I think are uncalled for.”

Some felt that it was unfair that the exhibit ran unopposed Sept. 16. As a result, Planned Parenthood, The Queer Straight Alliance club, the Sac City FreeThinkers club and City College Health Services set up booths across from the anti-abortion presentation the next day.

“We want to be a supportive, positive presence,” QSA President Ash Pearsol said.

“I’m pro-choice,” said D. Del-Toro, a QSA member. “We want people to understand we respect your choices and your decisions.”

ASG Vice President Debbie Dixon addressed the campus during the second day’s events to personally apologize for the controversial display.
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“This part of what had been planned for Constitution Day was never mentioned,” Dixon said. “It was kind of an earmark onto the plans for Constitution Day that the rest of us were unaware of.”

The anti-abortion exhibit by The Sanctity of Human Life Network, a religious nonprofit organization focused on anti-abortion activism, was voted unanimously onto the Constitution Day schedule by the campus ASG Sept. 2.

According to Dixon, the anti-abortion group was billed as the Genocide Awareness Project when ASG was voting on groups to invite to campus for Constitution Day. She said that the group’s misleading name, coupled with lack of information on the group and rushed voting, contributed to the ASG unanimously passing a vote to bring the group onto campus.
ASG President Steve Macias assumed responsibility for arranging the group’s unopposed presence on campus.

“I was the person who added the Genocide Awareness Project to the Constitution Day plans,” Macias said. “The rest of the plans, as far as the 12-1 events on Thursday, were put together by the Student Affairs Committee.”

Though Macias acknowledged the event did not go as smoothly as he hoped, he said that the constitutional discussion generated on abortion was in keeping with the Constitution-based theme.

“I think that much of the controversy is good and that controversy isn’t always a bad thing,” Macias said.

There is currently a petition to recall Macias circulating among students on campus.

Below is a link to a statement by ASG President Steve Macias after the event took place

Video produced by Cecilio Padilla, reported by Chris Geanakos and Randy Briggs, filmed by Randy Briggs

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