Banners of aborted fetuses stir controversy at FAU

2018-02-15T10:50:29+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Education, News, Politics, Public Safety|

Updated Feb. 14, 2018 04:22 p.m.

A string of banners depicting aborted fetuses at Florida Atlantic University this week has sparked revulsion and support among students on social media.

Alexandra Weot, a student at Florida Atlantic University, posted her disgust with the banners in a public Facebook post Tuesday morning.

“The fact that Florida Atlantic University is condoning this and allowing this bullshit to be in the middle of a learning environment is so appalling,” she wrote. “Making their educated students be harassed and stopped by someone to ask if we have a second to talk about how ‘people who get abortions are murderers.’ That is the definition of disgusting.”

By Jaylin Hawkins
South Florida News Service
@SFNS_News • Facebook • Instagram 

FAU Chief Press Officer Lisa Metcalf confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the organization responsible for hanging the banners was the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. Metcalf stated in an email that the group, whose purpose is “to establish prenatal justice and the right to life,” according to its website, has hosted the event, the Genocide Awareness Project, at the school’s Free Speech Area for several years.

“We have no filed reports of any incident related to this event,” Metcalf wrote.

The banners, according to Weot, appeared at the school’s Boca Raton Campus near the social sciences building starting on Monday. The area is a highly visible thoroughfare for students, faculty and staff. She said she did not know what organization was behind the display.

Online comments about the banners were both positive and negative. Many students questioned why university officials would allow such a graphic display, while others cited the group’s First Amendment rights to express its opinion.

In an interview Wednesday, Weot said she thinks the group should be allowed to be on campus, but the images and aggressive tactics went too far.

“I think that they should allow people to approach them and if they wanna have a conversation about it, great,” she said. “But just about all of us don’t wanna be harassed and have us put into a corner.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Weot’s post had been shared about 240 times.