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Anti-Abortion Display Sparks Controversy At Fairfield University

Students For Life hand out pamphlets in front of the Barone Campus Center at Fairfield University.
Students For Life hand out pamphlets in front of the Barone Campus Center at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Shauna Mitchell/The Mirror

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Many members of the Fairfield University community were outraged after the University’s Students For Life organization displayed 915 small pink crosses on campus in what many are calling “a mini-graveyard.”

On Oct. 7, the pro-life organization set up a display in front of the University’s Barone Campus Center to disseminate information about the government-funded Planned Parenthood program. As a part of the demonstration, the Students For Life handed out pamphlets, set up signs and placed 915 small pink crosses in neat rows to represent “the average of 915 abortions that occur every day in Planned Parenthood’s clinics nationwide,” according to Anthony Iorio, secretary of the Students For Life.

In a letter to the editor of The Fairfield Mirror, students Michael LeBoeuf and Riley Barrett took a public stand against the display.

“Not only was this display offensive in appearance, but also insensitive toward any woman who has had to undergo an abortion procedure,” LeBoeuf and Barrett said. “Quite frankly, it’s an affront to all women.”

When asked for comment, officials at Fairfield University released the following statement:

"Fairfield University has more than 80 sanctioned student clubs and organizations related to many interests and causes, among them the Students for Life Club. The university encourages students to take advantage of the opportunities these organizations offer for growth and leadership experience in an environment that promotes freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas. As a Catholic institution we, of course, stand by the teachings of the Catholic Church that include respect for all life."

But in the aftermath of the demonstration, students and faculty have taken to social media to discuss the hot-button issue.

Many have taken a stand opposing the Student’s For Life display, commenting not only on the crosses, but on the information provided as well.

“You've promoted false information in a forceful and invasive manner, not only were you ignorant, you were downright offensive and inappropriate,” Fairfield alumnus Sarah Krikorian wrote on the organization’s Facebook page.

And while many have voiced their distaste for the demonstration, others have gone on to present research that contradicts the facts given by Students For Life. LaBoeuf and Barret described it as “slanderous quotes and misinformation about the organization Planned Parenthood.”

Iorio responded in a letter to the editor of The Fairfield Mirror, which can be read here

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