An anti-abortion activist group from Columbus, Ohio, visited Charlottesville on Wednesday to mount a graphic display in front of University of Virginia Medical Center.
With cameras strapped to their bodies, they came ready for pushback, even a violent response, to the photos on display depicting what they called the “graphic reality of what abortion is and what it does to unborn children.”
The demonstration sparked some debate, raised some eyebrows, but it never became physical, as some protesters said it might.
Abortion has always been a contentious political issue in the U.S., but the Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had upheld abortion rights for decades, has made it an ever-present part of the political and cultural conversation.
And conversations were had in Charlottesville Wednesday after representatives from the Created Equal anti-abortion organization — about 10 members between the ages of 18 and 26 — set up signs with graphic images of what a spokeswoman said are aborted fetuses and the “victims of abortion.”
“One of our main focuses is educating people on the truth about abortion,” Molly Meyer, the 19-year-old spokeswoman for Created Equal, told The Daily Progress on Wednesday. “We’re here just having dialogue with students and showing the graphic reality of what abortion is and what it does to unborn children.”
With members making the trek together, the trip to UVa was one of up to five stops on the Created Equal college tour through Virginia and West Virginia, Meyer said.
The group stood beside graphic and gory images of fetal body parts and rendered ultrasound photos from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.
All of them wore GoPro cameras strapped to their chests.
One Created Equal member said the members wear cameras on their bodies because, on rare occasions, passersby have tried to destroy their signs.
“Normally we get a mixed response,” Meyer said. “Some people are angry with seeing the signs because they’re graphic. But we see that the signs are graphic because abortion is graphic. That’s why we show them, because abortion in itself is graphic. We also have people who are in support of us being here and who are thankful that we’re here standing for freedom for children.”
Meyer said the organization received the same response at UVa on Wednesday: some people engaged in conversation, some ignored them entirely, some outright expressed their opposition.
Created Equal will finish its college tour in West Virginia and head back to Ohio on Friday, Meyer said.