Pro-life demonstrators peacefully protest and debate with students

Don Wilberforce (left) speaks with Kenyon Newhouse about abortion outside his booth at the West Campus at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Wilberforce is part of the pro-life group Project Truth, which aims to “educate students on the injustices of abortion”, according to one of the members.

Delaney Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Pro-life group Project Truth displayed large photographs of what the group’s members said were  aborted fetuses on West Campus, Monday morning.

Students passing by generally ignored demonstrators’ attempts to hand out their pro-life informational pamphlets at their informational booth. At times, students would shout expletives at them as they walked past.

“We are for education,” said Bud Reeves, one of the group’s leaders. “We want to educate people about how abortion not only hurts the child, but it also hurts the mother. When a woman chooses to have an abortion, she wounds two people.

“My goal when I leave here is to make sure that people understand that it’s not just a glob of tissue, but a living human life,” he said.

Project Truth is an organization that travels to colleges in northern California as well as parts of Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah to “educate students on the injustices of abortion.”

The pamphlets the demonstrators were handing out referred to the legalization of abortion as the “American Holocaust.” It also included pages detailing why the group believes abortion is wrong even in cases of rape.

Faith Lusica, an undeclared major at City College, said that she was grateful for Roe V. Wade, the landmark United States Supreme Court case that established a woman’s right to have an abortion.

“Before abortions were legal, women were having unsafe ones and dying as a result of them,” said Lusica. “If you are pro-life, you should be able to recognize the lives that have been saved by making abortions legal and safe.”

Some students engaged in debates with the demonstrators, like Lusica who stopped to talk to Don Wilberforce, one of the three directors of Project Truth.

“I honestly don’t know what to say right now,” Lusica said. “I’ve done countless essays and debates on this topic and although I probably wouldn’t have one myself, it is the woman’s right to make that choice.”

Wilberforce responded to Lusica by asking, “how did we decide it should be a legal choice to kill your child?”

Lusica said she believed that a lack of proper sex education is the real issue, not the legalization of abortions.

“States that tend to be pro-life also tend to lack in sex education, using the abstinence only model,” she said. “These states also have a higher rate of unwanted pregnancies. If we educate teens about safe sex, there will be less of a need for abortions in the first place.”

City College security guards were posted next to the stand for most of the day as a precaution because of how much chaos the pro-life group has caused in years past. Although this is the first time Project Truth has come to City College since 2015, there have been other pro-life groups with a similar message that typically cause an uproar from pro-choice students and faculty. Typically, the pro-life groups get asked to leave by security at that point.

“Because last semester this campus was voted from a mostly non-public forum to a public one, the [Project Truth] group has the right to be here without notifying us beforehand,” said Luz Reyes-Martin, City College’s public information officer. “All we can do is make sure that they aren’t blocking the walkways or disrupting classes.

“I do want to say that I called the Health and Wellness Center and requested that a counselor come stand here and offer support to students who are triggered or upset by the images they have displayed.”

Reeves said that he and his fellow members of the Truth Project plan on continuing to set up their stand on Tuesday and Wednesday before moving on to the next college.