Catholic Newman Club prepares for anti-abortion display with ‘boot camp’
By | 2016-03-08T20:15:01-07:00 Mar 8, 2016 | 8:15 pm|Categories: Campus, Events, News, Today|

The Catholic Newman Club prepared themselves with a “boot camp” on Monday evening for next week’s Genocide Awareness Project, where anti-abortion groups will equate abortion to genocide while other groups hold a counter-protest nearby. Also known as Beach Newman, the club will host its annual GAP demonstration along with the help of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform next week. CBR is an anti-abortion group advocating the right to life for the unborn. The boot camp is meant to prepare Newman members and volunteers for the conflict and arguments they might face while hosting the display. Held at the Speaker’s Platform in the center of campus, the GAP display will run for from March 15-16. GAP is a anti-abortion display featuring images of dead fetuses, the Holocaust, slavery and the civil rights movement. As described in Monday’s boot camp, it is part of CBR’s campus outreach and a strategic attempt to reach the college demographic. The nature of the images is cause for controversy and conflict on campus. In response to last year’s display, Victoria Villa quickly enacted Safe Space CSU as a counter protest. Villa says that SS CSU will put up signs around the GAP display which will warn […]

The Catholic Newman Club prepared themselves with a “boot camp” on Monday evening for next week’s Genocide Awareness Project, where anti-abortion groups will equate abortion to genocide while other groups hold a counter-protest nearby.

Also known as Beach Newman, the club will host its annual GAP demonstration along with the help of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform next week. CBR is an anti-abortion group advocating the right to life for the unborn.

The boot camp is meant to prepare Newman members and volunteers for the conflict and arguments they might face while hosting the display.

Held at the Speaker’s Platform in the center of campus, the GAP display will run for from March 15-16.

GAP is a anti-abortion display featuring images of dead fetuses, the Holocaust, slavery and the civil rights movement. As described in Monday’s boot camp, it is part of CBR’s campus outreach and a strategic attempt to reach the college demographic. The nature of the images is cause for controversy and conflict on campus.

In response to last year’s display, Victoria Villa quickly enacted Safe Space CSU as a counter protest. Villa says that SS CSU will put up signs around the GAP display which will warn students before unexpectedly walking up and seeing the photos. The organization will also offer counseling for faculty, staff and students who may need it after seeing the display.

Both Newman and CBR acknowledge and expect conflict that they will encounter in the two days that GAP will be on campus.

Kevin Olivier, director of operations with CBR, trained Beach Newman members and volunteers at the boot camp. According to Olivier, conflict is constructive; it is a facilitator and it forces people to take a side.

“We don’t have to talk to everyone who comes by,” Olivier said to boot camp attendees. “Some people we reach just by them seeing the display.”

He informed boot campers of CBR and GAP’s mission: to reform society and change the status quo. According to him, the status quo is in favor of abortion rights. Kevin and the GAP boot camp liken anti-abortion advocacy to the civil rights movement and the abolishment of slavery.

“Historically, reformers did not fear confrontation,” Olivier said. “They were afraid of being ignored. In eight days we’re going to be difficult to ignore.”

In the boot camp, CBR outlined the typical arguments used by those in favor of abortion rights. In the training, volunteers are taught rebuttals to these arguments.

For example, advocates for abortion rights argue that rape is a special case where abortion should be permitted if so requested. The boot camp taught  volunteers to refute this argument with what it calls “trotting out the toddler.” This tactic is meant to remind those in disagreement that an unborn baby is a human being by asking the question, “Is it ok to kill a two-year-old?”

Another recurring argument which CBR prepares to rebuttal and refers to as “the body autonomy argument.” This argument presented by abortion rights advocates states that as a woman is in control of her own body, she can choose to have an abortion if she pleases.

“I hate the bodily autonomy argument,” said Anna Johnson, director of student outreach with CBR. “It blows my mind that anyone would use this argument.”

Johnson has a 7-month-old baby girl, who she said she will be bringing to the GAP display. Johnson said this will be her first time bringing her baby to the demonstration.

She has been on the Cal State Long Beach campus before demonstrating with GAP. Last year when she was on campus, she was 24 weeks pregnant.

“I think it was humanizing in a way to see a woman who is pregnant right in front of you,” Johnson said. “It also helps people to realize that a pregnant woman can accomplish things. Moms can have jobs, and they can have careers and they can go to school. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean your life is over. We can be moms, and we can have careers and lead our lives while being moms. We can do both.”

However, the GAP claims that 90 percent of abortions are performed on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies who were conceived during consensual sex.

According to Guttmacher Institute, New York, just 7 percent of women cite health concerns as a reason for abortion. The most common reason used among about 89-72 percent of women cite inability to afford a baby or interference with work or school.

Anti-abortionists, abortion rights advocates and even those without an opinion will all get an eyeful of what GAP has to offer next week.

3 Comments

  1. Christopher Page March 14, 2016 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    The logic against abortion seems simple and sound. As expressed in the first comment:
    1) killing an innocent human being is wrong and must be stopped
    2) abortion is the intentional killing of a human being
    3) abortion is wrong and must be stopped

    The debate is with part 2, which asks when does human life begin? Is it when the heart starts beating? When brain waves are detected? Science says human life begins when a unique set of human DNA is created, which occurs at conception. Research human development and look at the scientific evidence yourself.

    The use of the term genocide in this case is consistent with the UN. It is confusing because the UN defined the term genocide at least twice. On 11 December 1946 UN General Assembly Resolution 96 said “…genocide is a crime…whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds…” Read the whole section for context at:
    http://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/033/47/IMG/NR003347.pdf

    The essence of genocide is the denial of the humanity of a group of people based on an arbitrary factor. The dehumanized group often loses legal rights and their killing is eventually sanctioned by the government. While in the past race and religion were used to separate people, today age (or level of development) is another way people are separated and dehumanized. Killing is wrong in all of these cases.

    Christopher Page
    MS Electrical Engineering ‘15
    Former Catholic Newman Club Vice President

  2. Ariana Sawyer, News Editor March 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Your fundamentally flawed use of symbolic logic and co-optation of social movements and global disasters is indicative of the weakness of your argument, which cannot stand on it’s own.

    My response to you last year still stands: http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/2015/05/04/letter-from-the-editor-the-genocide-awareness-project/

    “In a faux pas of epic proportions, the so-called “Genocide Awareness Project” has co-opted the word genocide, conveniently disregarding its etymology, in an effort to shame, horrify and embarrass young people at California State University, Long Beach into some alignment with their repressed Catholic agenda. Abortion is not genocide.”

    Genocide: ” … Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    Furthermore, women of color are disproportionately affected by shutting down organizations like Planned Parenthood. It’s like saying, “Hey, you’re super oppressed and disproportionately poor and imprisoned. Still, not only are we going to keep you too poor to afford an education (and thus get a job that pays for childcare, etc.), too poor to get contraception and too poor to get healthcare, but now we are going to force you to have babies when you get pregnant to boot.”

    If you really wanted to do something about abortion, how about dealing with issues like racism and poverty?

  3. Meredith Amon March 9, 2016 at 1:41 am - Reply

    GAP has really valid arguments that I am still waiting to see the Pro-choice side logically and clearly refute. Look up what an abortion looks like, do research, take a side, don’t be complacent.

    The premise for GAP is this:
    1) killing an innocent human being is wrong and must be stopped
    2) abortion is the intentional killing of a human being
    3) abortion is wrong and must be stopped

    GAP also claims abortion as genocide because of the UN’s definition of what Genocide is. Furthermore, there are parallels to the Holocaust, and slavery, the biggest one: a denial of humanity.

    Because science claims that human life begins at conception, GAP believes it is valuable and worthy of protection. The pro-choice side has failed to argue in a scientifically sound manner to claim anything else. We are here to show CSULB the humanity of the unborn. The images will display what abortion–in all its tragedy–really looks like.

    And women deserve better than abortion. They deserve a culture that won’t shame them on a pregnancy, but receive them with support and love. They deserve real resources to provide for her children, and health care that will see them through their pregnancies. Shift the funds from Planned Parenthood to Crisis Pregnancy Centers–which are better providers and examples of women’s healthcare.

    Check out the event next week! We want to talk to you, have a real conversation. Let’s break the silence.

    Meredith Amon
    Catholic Newman Officer

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