Students protest ‘misogynistic’ pro-life display

Auburn University's Students for Life created a "Cemetery of the Innocents" consisting of 150 white crosses.

Counter-protesters say the crosses were misogynistic because they shamed women for having abortions.

Pro-abortion students at Auburn University held a counter-protest on Wednesday against a pro-life display of crosses on the grounds that it was “misogynistic” and “sham[ed] women’s reproductive choices.”

Auburn University’s Students for Life (SFL) created a “Cemetery of the Innocents” earlier this week: 150 white crosses on the university’s lawn, each cross representing 20 lives lost to abortion. And it was those white crosses—not the pro-life message itself—that had another group of students up in arms.

“[The group of students] weren’t directly protesting against the pro-life argument, but they thought the display was shaming women’s reproductive choices,” Wesley Nelson, Auburn’s SFL president, told Campus Reform in an interview.

Nelson told Campus Reform that the counter-protest, a “Lives Lost to Misogyny” rally, included students holding signs representing other various issues that the pro-life students agreed with, such as suicide prevention, domestic violence awareness, and preventing hate crimes.

The demonstration isn’t about whether or not you agree with abortion, it’s about making people feel ashamed about their actions, Megan Skipper, an Auburn junior, told The Auburn Plainsman.

According to the Plainsman, the “Lives Lost to Misogyny” protest was a result of a men and masculinities class taught by Prof. Andrea Baldwin in the women’s studies department.

“I think these crosses are misogynistic because they’re shaming women for having abortions,” Imani Tucker, a senior, told the Plainsman. “We felt that since this happens every year, there’s a lot of misinformation and shame associated with a display like this and we wanted to counter that.”

Nelson told Campus Reform that Auburn’s SFL has “not made any definitive plans” to change their display as a result of the “Lives Lost to Misogyny” protest, but the group would be discussing the concerns of the other students for upcoming events. He stressed that both the pro-life students and the “Lives Lost to Misogyny” students had productive and open dialogue.

However, Nelson said this is the first time he has ever been told that the white crosses are misogynistic. Auburn’s SFL group displays the Cemetery of the Innocents every semester, he said.

Auburn did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

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