The Collegian
Sunday, June 26, 2022

"What Has Roe Done for Us?" event to be held Friday

Spiders for Life, the pro-life student organization at University of Richmond, will be holding their first event coordinated with the Students for Life of America this Friday on the academic quad.

The event, "What Has Roe Done for Us?", is the first time this specific event has been brought to campus, Stephanie Zemanek, the president of Spiders for Life, said, although they have worked with the SFLA in the past.

Emma Johansson, the incoming president for Spiders for Life, said the event would consist of several 6-foot-tall vinyl posters that "pose a question to the reader, with information to further challenge the question posed."

Zemanek said it would be "stastistical information regarding the history of illegal abortion, the Roe v. Wade decision and the myth of safe and legal abortion."

Sample images available on the SFLA website showed boards displaying the photographs of women who died while receiving abortion procedures. At the Richmond event, there will only be one graphic image of an autopsy showing the destruction that abortion still causes to women's bodies, Johansson said.

"However, this poster will be covered with a warning sign that can be removed if specific students wish to view it," she said. "We understand that pictures like this one are not easy to view and we are trying to be considerate to those who do not wish to view it."

Samantha Lint, the president for the student pro-choice group, Students United for Reproductive Justice, said their organization would likely have a presence at this event as well.

"[We will have] one or two people nearby to alert passersby that they are about to encounter false information," she said, "and to provide medically grounded information that supports the personal agency of women to make their own reproductive decisions.

"It is vital that we make sure students can access reliable information and information that is not shaming or manipulative."

Johansson and Zemanek both said they expected to receive backlash from the event.

"Everyone has a right to voice their own opinions and I encourage students to do so," Johansson said. "I believe, being civil adults, that we can all have these important discussions without disrespecting each other."

Zemanek said they would have an SFLA employee as well as employees of local pregnancy crisis centers, who are trained in post-abortive counseling, on site to answer any questions that students may have.

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The "What Has Roe Done for Us?" event will be held on the Stern Plaza in the academic quad from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 25.

Contact reporter Kelsey Shields at kelsey.shields@richmond.edu

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