Pro Life on Campus at U of North Florida (UNF)

CBR's Nicole Cooley explains the comparison of abortion to slavery.

CBR's Nicole Cooley explains the comparison of abortion to slavery.

We’re up and running with our pro-life display at the U of North Florida (UNF), an important and growing university in Jacksonville.  Our pro-life GAP display is situated on the main sidewalk leading from the Student Union to the academic buildings.

It’s a busy day on campus.  We’re seeing lots of student tours.  In fact, this might be the perfect day to reach high school students.   We’re guessing many of them (and their parents) are out of high school (and work) for Presidents Day, so this is a logical day for them to schedule a university tour.

A crowd gathers at the University of North Florida

A crowd gathers at the University of North Florida.

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23 Responses to “Pro Life on Campus at U of North Florida (UNF)”

  1. February 20th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Marie says:

    I am no one to judge, but I will judge those who judge others. Your display at UNF is tasteless. I had to walk by your horrible pictures multiple times today and it was extremely disturbing to me, so much that I was unable to go to mt last two classes. I come to school to learn, not to be bombarded with radical displays that inhibit me to do so. Even people that agree with you don’t want, or need to see your display. Not only are you leaving students feeling disturbed at what they are seeing, but you are exploiting those unborn children for your “project” and you should be ashamed. I completely support your first amendment right to speak freely, however your delivery was offensive. I would have had no problem with you handing out pamphlets or papers with the same images to people that wanted them, but you didn’t. The key to exercising your first amendment right is to give your audience a choice, and just like those of unborn children in your display, I wasn’t given a choice in the matter.

  2. February 20th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Fletcher says:


    Thanks for commenting on the GAP project at UNF. Yes, we know that the abortion pictures are extremely disturbing. They are difficult for you to look at, because you have a functioning conscience. That’s a good thing.

    Please permit me to address some of the specific points you raised.

    You say that you would have no problem with us handing out pamphlets to people who wanted them. But these methods appeal to you because they would make it easy for you to ignore the injustice you find so disturbing. Your complaint reminds us of what they said to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he marched against racial injustice. They wanted him to confine his activities to the Black church, so they could ignore the injustice he sought to correct. They didn’t want to be bothered. And as long as Dr. King didn’t bother them, they were OK with it. But Dr. King knew that in order to change the status quo, he had to show people that racism was much worse than they imagined. It was pictures of Black men and women being attacked with dogs and water cannons—those pictures appearing on TV and in magazines reaching millions of American households—that turned the tide against segregation in the South. We have no hope of correcting the injustice of abortion unless we expose it.

    Our operating principle actually comes from the King family. Dr. Martin Luther King said that, “America will not reject racism until America sees racism.” His niece, Dr. Alveda King, now says that “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.” That’s why we are working to make sure that every American sees abortion for what it is, an act of violence that destroys a growing child.

    The fact that you and others find baby-killing disturbing is actually encouraging. The people who worry us are the ones who don’t care about it.

    You said you came to the campus to learn. You learned something today. First, you learned that the preborn child is a living human being, even in the first trimester of pregnancy. Second, you learned that abortion is an act of violence that destroys a living human child. This information will be very valuable to you, if you want to do the right thing.

    Speaking of learning, doesn’t it bother you that so many people and institutions have conspired to tell you only lies … lies about who the preborn child is and lies about what abortion does to her. The education system, the media, the entertainment industry, the government, and others have all conspired with the abortion industry to make people believe that the preborn child is just a mass of cells and abortion is just removing a benign medical procedure. Had they told you the truth, we would not have been compelled to come to your campus.

    You say that we are exploiting unborn children by showing their pictures. How so? If we are exploiting these children, then isn’t it equally true that the Holocaust Museum in Washington is exploiting European Jews by showing pictures of their dead bodies? You can’t go to any Holocaust museum or read a book on the Holocaust without seeing a disturbing photo of dead Jewish bodies.

    You say you had no choice in the matter of whether to look at the photos or not. Actually, you could have turned your head away from the pictures and walked right on by. We watched many people doing exactly that. Apparently, you didn’t turn your head; the fact that you are so disturbed suggests you studied the images very carefully. We’re glad you did, but it was clearly your choice to study them or not.

    And even if it is true that you had no choice but to see the photos for a few seconds before you were able to avert your gaze, are you so selfish as to be unwilling to endure a few moments of discomfort in other to save another person’s life?

    You say that we should be ashamed. It reminds me of something Louis Hine said. In the early 1900s, he displayed photos of very young (adolescent) children working in coal mines, textile mills, etc. He wrote in his memoirs that some people were more angry at him for showing the pictures than at the industrial bosses for abusing the children. It is the abortionist who should be ashamed for killing the children, not us for exposing the truth.

    For more information about abortion—no matter what you decide, you want your decision to be informed by the facts—visit http://www.AbortionNo.org.

  3. February 20th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    You should be ashamed! says:

    […] Home « Pro Life on Campus at U of North Florida (UNF) […]

  4. February 20th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Marie says:

    I did not study these pictures, and in fact DID look away. However, I shouldn’t have to. I should not have to be put in that position, nor should anyone else. You can do your job in front of me every day of the week, but the way you are doing it is wrong. You can spread your message to even more people if you made your campaign easier to stomach. I respect your values, and I respect your opinion. I never said I didn’t, so don’t attack that. I respect all opinions for that matter. You say everyone has rights, and that we should respect them. Respect my right to my opinion, and my right to go to school without worrying about what horrible thing is waiting for me. Live and let live.

  5. February 20th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Pennie says:

    Get a museum and post your pictures. I agree with Marie.

  6. February 20th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Fletcher says:

    I wish you didn’t have to see injustice. I wish nobody had to see it. But it is a generally accepted tenant that people have to see injustice in order to end it. It would be difficult for you to reach adulthood without having to, at some point, see pictures of the victims of the Nazi death camps, whose bodies were stacked like cordwood.

    Come to think of it, I’ve never heard anybody complain about being shown pictures of the death camps. (The only complaint about those kind of images that I’ve ever heard was by the attorney for the defense in Justice at Nuremberg, a movie about a fictional trial of Nazi jurists.) Why does nobody complain about seeing pictures of dead Holocaust victims, but so many people complain about even a brief glance at pictures of abortion victims?

    I’m a bit confused about what you mean when you say I shouldn’t “attack that.” I’m not sure what I attacked. I never said that you didn’t respect us or our arguments; I merely tried to answer the objections you raised in your comment.

    You say, “Live and let live.” But I’m not sure I understand your meaning. I am keen to “live and let live,” as I understand it. But we can’t accept a double standard in which others may torture children to death — the most egregious violation of “live and let live” we can imagine — whereas we ourselves must observe the policy so strictly that we may not even speak out against injustice. When they adopt the “live and let live” policy down at the abortion facility, then we will gladly pack up our pictures and go home.

    Of course we respect your right to your opinion. But we expect you to respect the our right to present facts and opinions to people who want the receive them.

    Perhaps more importantly, we expect you to respect the right of other students at UNF who want to see the information we offered. Many, many students wanted to see the pictures and/or engage in dialogue with one of our team members. Some of them told us that our display had changed their minds. Please respect their right to receive the information we offered.

  7. February 20th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Fletcher says:

    Pennie, when abortion clinics cease to function in the same way that Nazi death camps have ceased to function, then we will gladly move our pictures to a museum.

  8. February 21st, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Sandra says:

    I agree, I don’t want to see the pictures of babies who have been torn apart, it’s disturbing and heartbreaking. I also don’t WANT to see the pictures of all the bodies that were thrown into pits at the concentration camps. But if school had only TOLD me what the holocaust was like and I never saw those pictures, it wouldn’t have meant as much. You can tell a person about abortion, explain the pain and torment that the babies endure while being pulled apart, and if you have a heart, it’ll probably(hopefully) make you sad and anger you a bit. But if we we aren’t shown what abortion actually does, it will never push us to stand up for it. What bothers me most about reading everyones complaints about seeing the displays, is that we see commercials on TV every day of animals who have been abused, they’re half dead, emaciated, and beaten and THEY get more sympathy and tears than a baby who was murdered by his mother. I love all life, and I hate to see ANYTHING hurt or murdered, but really? Since when is a human life not very valuable? You say Live and Let Live? Is that what the abortion industry is doing? Seems to me, they’re Living and Let Die. It’s a hypocritical statement, of course you should be allowed to live and let live, you wouldn’t want to be murdered like that, but that baby doesn’t have a choice. It’s easy to be the one who’s alive and being pro-choice, YOU WERE ALLOWED TO LIVE!!! I was allowed to live, and I’m doing my part to make sure other babies get that chance. Do you honestly think a preborn baby would CHOOSE to die? And why is showing injustice “judging” others? The signs show you what abortion is, letting people know, informing them that this is what actually happens. Is there a face of a mother up there who chose to kill her baby? Is there a lynching? Was there a court and jury there? Stating facts is NOT the same as judging. It is just that…stating facts. And if it really bothers you to see the babies end up like that…then do something to help save them!

  9. February 21st, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Pennie says:

    Were not talking about the Nazi death camps or any other issue. It’s the picture of dead cut up babies shown while students are walking to class. Poor judgment.

  10. February 21st, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Fletcher says:

    Pennie, I believe we were talking about whether horrific photos of violence should be displayed in public. By any standard, photos of Nazi death camps qualify. We will not accept a double standard in which others may expose injustice but we may not.

    You may believe it is poor judgement to show them, but the words you have chosen to describe abortion (“dead cut up babies”) tell another story. Those words suggest that your understanding of abortion has been greatly enhanced by seeing pictures of it, which is precisely our goal for coming.

  11. February 21st, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Marie says:

    You would win your arguments if you stopped telling people what they think. You have no idea what we think. I highly doubt you know what you’re thinking, but that’s irrelevent. You can speak for no one but yourself. You also have no idea what the “truth” is. Everyone has different truths. Regardless of how horrific abortion is to you, it’s just your opinioin and if your opinion were true it wouldn’t be called an opinion. When I said “Live and let live” I meant that you should just worry about the things you do. If a young girl who was raped decides to get an abortion, it’s none of your business. It does not affect you at all. If a women chooses to abort her baby to save her own life, it does not affect you. You don’t have to agree with abortion, but it is none of your business. As long as you know you are “right by God” you should be happy. Anyway, if you truly, and honestly believe that abortion is murder you should try a different approach. Why don’t you help prevent unwanted pregnancies all together? Why don’t you educate young people on safe sex, and prevention methods. Sex education is powerful, more powerful than your shock tactics.

  12. February 21st, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Marie says:

    “Perhaps more importantly, we expect you to respect the right of other students at UNF who want to see the information we offered. Many, many students wanted to see the pictures and/or engage in dialogue with one of our team members. Some of them told us that our display had changed their minds. Please respect their right to receive the information we offered.”

    -I do respect your right to preach your “truth”, if you read my first comment you would see that. You would also know that I DO respect your right to offer your information. Like I said, you could be doing the same thing with pamphlets. I have never once said to leave, or stop preaching.

  13. February 21st, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Pennie says:

    Was called to send money to UNF. Was going to send it on line, not now.

  14. February 21st, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Marisa says:

    Thr problem is that you’re confusion facts with “opinions”. The fact is that we all as a society agree that killing is inmoral and punishible by law. Another fact is that an unborn child is a human, and this can be proved scientifically. It was Hitlers opinion that jews could not br considered as real humans. If someone killed one of your loved ones, you would seek punishment. And if the law didnt support punishment for such a crime, you would denounce it publicly. All they are doing is giving these killed babies a voice, and show what is being done to them.

    I agree that more sexual education needs to happen and people shouldmbe aware of responsible sex. This means, you have to own up to the consequences of your actions. If someone is raped why punish the inocent life of the baby? I would certainly encourage that person to give the baby on adoption. Choosing the life of a baby versus the mother, I agree is a tough choice and I wouldnt judge someone in that situation. Fact is, that is a very small percentage of abortions.

    It is very hardnto have an unplanned baby, I can simphatizenwith that becausenI had one. But no matter how unprepared a woman is, killing should never be the answer.

    And bynthe way! All my friends thinkmim the biggest feminist because im always fighting for womens rights and equality. But i also stand up for children and unborn babies, and someone has to speaknfor them and protect them when the parents wont

  15. February 22nd, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Fletcher says:

    Marie, now that you have clarified what you mean by “Live and let live,” I wonder if you have considered the implications of your view. According to your view, if somebody decided to own a slave, it’s nobody else’s business because the decision to own that slave doesn’t affect anybody else. Applying the same rule, if the Nazis want to “purify the Master Race,” then it’s nobody else’s business.

    By the way, it appears as if you have broken your own rule. You say we shouldn’t worry about anything anybody else does; yet you seem to be quite preoccupied with what we are doing and not doing and how we are doing it. Perhaps I am missing something, but that appears to be a contradiction to me. Could you clarify?

  16. February 22nd, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Marie says:

    Actually owning a slave, and “purifying the master race” are noot acceptable. Both of those actions affect others. The slave, and the inferior race. By the way,it appears you have once misconstrued my statement. I have not broken any of my own personal rules. Like I’ve said multiple times before, I have no problem with you spreading your message. However, I do have a problem with how you’re doing it. And yes, I am preoccupied with it. Mainly because I have had to walk by your tasteless display everyday this week, and also because Monday was our biggest tour date. You’ve made UNF, a public school, look like a radical private school. Now that we’re done clarrifying my views, why don’t you answer my question. Wouldn’t you find a safe sex campaign to be more effective? Why not stop the need for an abortion all together? I mean after all, unprotected sex is the only cause of abortion.

  17. February 22nd, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Marie says:

    once again*

  18. February 22nd, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Peter says:


    You’ve said, ‘Actually owning a slave, and “purifying the master race” are not acceptable’. That is just your opinion – and of course I agree with you. You’ve justified your opinion by pointing out that, ‘Both of those actions affect others’. Absolutely!

    I think that most people are of the opinion that deliberately killing a helpless and innocent human is not acceptable. In fact, most of us would say it’s plain wrong, wouldn’t we?

    GAP is merely making that point very clear, presenting the evidence in a way that cannot be denied. And if you were making the point yourself, I venture to suggest that you’d point out that the action affects others – the unborn who lose their lives without ever being given a choice. Quite a devastating effect.

  19. February 22nd, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    John says:

    I have been reading through the conversation and have a few thoughts, particularly regarding the last comment.

    You say that slavery affects a slave, “purifying the master race” affects those considered inferior, does not the act of abortion also affect the pre-born child in much the same way? If that child is human as are you and I then would not killing that child be just as morally unacceptable as killing those considered inferior or owning slaves?

    As for unprotected sex being the only cause for abortion that is incorrect. Many times those having abortions have been having “protected sex” and the method fails resulting in a new human through fertilization.

    Further, as long as abortion is considered a morally and legally acceptable option there are always situations where individuals can choose not to use contraceptives. Do those pre-born children that are conceived because of that decision then have to die? I would analogize it to telling slavers that they shouldn’t own slaves and inform them about other options for workers and yet still making it permissible. If this is the case, some individuals will still decide to own slaves in spite of anything you decide to tell them.

  20. February 22nd, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Fletcher says:


    I’m thinking we’ve said all we can say about some of this. You don’t want us to display abortion pictures and we are determined to do it. You say owning a slave and killing Jews is not acceptable because those actions affect others. We agree and extend the same argument to abortion: abortion is not acceptable because that action kills a living human person. But I would like to address your other questions and comments.

    You asked about safe sex campaigns, and there are several points to make in response. First and foremost, our main goal is to end abortion. Safe sex campaigns will not accomplish that. “Fifty-four percent (54%) of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant.” (Source: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html) They obviously had access to contraception, but they became pregnant anyway, either because the method was used correctly and failed or because the women were not motivated to employ the contraceptive method consistently.

    Second, we are not going to be content with only reducing the number of abortions, any more than abolitionists would be content with only reducing the number of slaves or Jewish groups would be content with reducing the number of Nazi death camps. Our goal is to end the whole bloody mess.

    Finally, I would also add that I believe sex education is important, but as a parent and citizen, I must insist that the program be effective and appropriate. I must also insist that those who teach the classes be free of any conflict of interest. Former abortion clinic owner Carol Everett describes how she used her status as a so-called “expert” to gain access to public school students so she could encourage more sexual activity and more teen pregnancies. She has stated that “Our presence in schools guaranteed a 50% increase in pregnancy.” She described her process for increasing sexual activity among teens: “First, I established myself with the teens as an authority on sex. I explained to them that their parents wouldn’t help them with their sexuality, but I would. I separated them from their support system, number one, and they listened to me. Second, our doctors prescribed low dose birth control pills knowing well that they needed to be taken very accurately at the same time every day or pregnancy would occur. This insured the teens to be my best customers as teenagers typically are not responsible enough to follow such rigid medication guidelines on their own. I knew their sexual activity would increase from none or once a week to five or seven times a week once they were introduced to this contraception method. Then I could reach my goal – three to five abortions for each teenager between the ages of 13 and 18.” You can do what you want with your own children, but please keep abortion industry shysters away from mine.

    Regarding the difference between public and private schools, the biggest difference is the First Amendment. The First Amendment means that public schools like UNF may not conduct any kind of content-based censorship of our message. However, private schools may control the speech on their campuses and normally do. The end result is that we can come to places like UNF but usually not private schools like Liberty University and Notre Dame. We have been to Liberty and Notre Dame, but were forced to display abortion photos off-campus using a variety of methods: on hand-held signs at campus entrances, on trucks that we drive around the perimeter of the campus, and on aerial banners that we fly over the campus. If you are interested in seeing how this worked, go to the home page for this blog and search for “Liberty University”.

  21. February 24th, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Marie says:

    I did not read your comments because we’re obviously never going to agree, and that’s ok. I’m just thankful you’re off my campus now. Regardless of your opinions, I wish you safe travels.

  22. October 28th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Melinda Wheeler says:

    Dear Pro-Lifers,
    I am impressed with your responses! Bravo! One question, one John A. Delaney Pres there at UNF loudly proclaims to be Pro-Life even claims to support Pro-Life efforts financially, though we have not seen where yet. Did he support your efforts openly?

  23. October 28th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Fletcher says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words.

    With respect to Dr. Delaney, I didn’t personally meet him. Not sure if anybody else on our team did or not. I have no way of knowing what Dr. Delaney’s personal views are. That’s a question we don’t ask.

    When working with campus administrations, we focus on the University’s compliance with the First Amendment, it’s commitment to freedom of expression, and the principle of equal access to public spaces on campus. With regard to these issues, I can tell you that the U of North Florida was exemplary in every respect. We had no complaints whatsoever. At the end of the two days, people on both sides of the issue had ample opportunity to present their message to whomever wished to receive it, and that’s all we ask.

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