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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.”

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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.

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