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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

There was no justice for all

On March 3, an anti-abortion organization, Justice for All, was present in Rudder Plaza, encouraging debate in the shadow of a 10-foot display of mutilated fetuses.
A “moderator” representing Justice for All led a “rational discussion,” inviting passing students to offer opinions for or against the giant billboard displaying biomedical destruction. The speaker invited people to engage in an “open debate” with other representatives of Justice for All, one of which was an author who had written a book on abortion discussion. Though the promise of a free conversation on a very sensitive issue may seem encouraging, the way it was conducted gave pro-choice opponents a crippling disadvantage. Unprepared and offended students were pitted against experts, with a biased moderator keeping the conversation under control. Justice for All may have touted an open debate as its mission, but the reality was much closer to propaganda.
Justice For All’s presentation relied on a massive structure plastered with disturbing photos of aborted fetuses, cute babies and various statements conveying the view that abortion is genocide. These pictures were meant to shock a reaction out of viewers and encourage them to speak their views over the moderator’s microphone. Unfortunately, this was merely a tactic in spreading their message, as their advantages in the debate ensured that the “moral” side would win the argument.
Although the average student might be able to provide a sound argument for abortion if given time to prepare, most of those who encountered the exhibit were unprepared to speak. Rather than coming prepared to defend their views, they were urged to speak based on the graphic nature of the display coupled with the inflammatory rhetoric of the speakers, equating abortion with slavery and genocide.
Unlike the students, the representatives of Justice for All, which included Stephen Wagner, author of “Common Ground Without Compromise: 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion,” were experts. The speakers traveled across the country, branching out of the Justice for All home base in Wichita, KS, and spoke at countless universities. Certainly, many counter-arguments for abortion exist, but it is hard to imagine the average student articulating a counter-argument the panel of experts is not well prepared for without researching the event beforehand.
If Justice for All really wanted an open debate, a representative from a similar abortion rights organization should have been invited to the event. Instead of placing the microphone in the hands of a biased moderator who could re-direct the conversation to benefit the anti-abortion group, a neutral party should have introduced the topics. Surely the argument against abortion cannot be so weak that it can’t withstand an equal playing field.
The representatives from Justice for All asked for an open debate or free conversation about abortion, but the reality was a manipulative plot to win arguments against disadvantaged pro-choice opponents. By contrasting their calm, well-rehearsed speeches with the angry rambling of many students shocked into verbal expression, Justice For All hoped to sway undecided spectators through the illusion of a fair debate.
There is nothing wrong with using a graphic display to provoke discussion, but using one to prod people into playing an unwitting role in an agenda is deceitful. Justice For All either needs to live up to their mission statement and provide an open and fair outlet to discuss abortion, or be honest about their intentions.

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