Those walking on the University of Missouri’s Lowry Mall could not ignore the prominent anti-abortion displays set up in the middle of one of MU’s busiest areas. Anti-abortion advocates from the on-campus Students for Life teamed up with the anti-abortion Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) to advocate their viewpoint.

Gene Garrett, a volunteer with CBR, is from Birmingham, Ala., and drove to Columbia via Newport, R.I. to advocate for the cause. He said he sees abortion as a human rights issue that everyone can relate to.

“We all look the same at that stage, when you look at a child developing in the womb, you can’t tell if they’re black, or they’re white, or they’re Indians,” Garrett said. “At 21 days after fertilization, (the fetus) has a heartbeat. At eight weeks, it has every organ that you have right now.”

The display took place on a significant day: Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some of the graphic images compared abortion to genocides throughout history, including the Holocaust. Pro-abortion rights counter-protestors, like MU senior Alison Schwartz, decried this comparison.

“It’s appalling, it’s offensive to actual genocide victims,” said Schwartz. “It’s not comparable.”


Schwartz is part of MU’s Feminist Student Union, which organized the counter-protest. She said the organization heard about the group coming via social media, and moved quickly to counter-protest it.

“We move fast when we care about s–t,” she said.