Trucks covered with pictures of aborted fetuses circled Central Campus yesterday as part of a national campaign to create a debate surrounding abortion.

Paul Wong
A student walking toward State Street from the Diag looks at a truck driven by a member of the Center for Bio-ethical Reform to protest abortion yesterday.<br><br>DAVID KATZ/Daily

The massive pictures adorned two trucks that trolled campus streets for nearly seven hours yesterday, beginning at 9 a.m. The images of aborted fetuses depicted next to dimes and quarters are part of the “Reproductive Choice” campaign sponsored by the Center for Bio-ethical Reform, a grassroots education foundation based in Anaheim, Calif.

“It”s part of a rolling-out of a national tour that started in Los Angles in June and has been running every business day since,” said Mark Harrington, the center”s Midwest executive director.

The campus group Students for Choice met the trucks with some anger.

“The nation is in a delicate position right now,” said LSA sophomore Clair Morrissey of Students for Choice. “We feel it is grossly inappropriate and uncalled for. It is incredibly harmful to the state of mind of women on campus.

“It won”t change the mind of someone wanting to have an abortion, it only hurts women who have.”

The tour has been making its way across the nation since June, making appearances in Florida, Ohio and Indiana.

“The state of Michigan, politically speaking, is very influential. Ann Arbor and U of M are very influential and large,” Harrington said.

The center visited the University last September when it brought the Genocide Awareness Project to the Diag.

The display, which consisted of a number of large photos of aborted fetuses juxtaposed with photos of genocides caused tension between many passers-by and center members, but the shocking photos are what organizers feel make the displays effective.

“If people knew what (abortion) did to an unborn child, they might question the legality,” said LSA senior Andrew Shirvell, president of the Students for Life group on campus. The group will be presenting a demonstration using 40 tombstones representing aborted fetuses on the Diag today, although the annual event is not connected to yesterday”s display.

Shirvell said Students for Life is very supportive of the center”s campaign, even though the student group had nothing to do with the trucks on campus.

The truck project shocked students on both sides of the abortion debate.

“I would see faces turn from smile to shock or awe. We had a lot of thumbs up, waves, and the middle digit. One student ran up to the truck to throw fruit at it,” Harrington said.

LSA sophomore Nathan Leaman said he wasn”t that affected by the pictures on the trucks.

“I wasn”t personally offended, but its not something I really want to see,” he said.

Not all pro-life students agreed with the demonstration.

“I agree that it is inappropriate. I think the pro-life goal is not to instill fear in communities, but to help women who have been challenged by unwanted pregnancies,” said LSA sophomore Katharine Heeringa. “It”s midterms week and I don”t want to see that on my way to class.”

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