Nine hundred and fifteen pink crosses lined the quad on Oct. 11. According the Planned Parenthood Project, the crosses symbolize the 915 abortions performed at Planned Parenthood facilities per day throughout the nation.
The Planned Parenthood Project is a program created by Students For Life of America (SFLA).
SFLA is taking the Planned Parenthood Project on a 18,041 mile, 41 university, 20 state, eight week tour to spread their message against Planned Parenthood. Boise State was a stop along the way.
Hannah Brass Greer, public affairs of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, responded to these protesters.
“Generally speaking, protesters are spreading misinformation that has been widely disproven and discredited,” Brass Greer said. “We are not really focused on the small number of people spreading this information. We are focused on providing high quality health care to thousands of women, men and teens in Idaho and across the country.”
SFLA works in conjunction with pro-life organizations on each university they visit. At Boise State, SFLA worked together with Abolitionists4Life to host the event.
Members of the club distributed reading materials filled with statistics about Planned Parenthood and testimonials from former Planned Parenthood employees. Club members also referred to the visual display of crosses as they spoke to passersby.
Rebekah Barnes, regional coordinator of SFLA, described how the organization has been received by universities.
“Actually I have been really impressed with the amount of dialogue this display has brought about. No matter which side of the fence you find yourself on as far as pro or anti abortion, we are able to dialogue about Planned Parenthood and how they make money and whether or not it is ethical,” Barnes said.
Lisa Atkins, president of Abolitionsts4Life, explained why she felt it was important to bring this program to Boise State.
“It (abortion) is something that’s happening every day and our culture can easily turn a blind eye,”
According to statistics from Planned Parenthood’s 2011-2012 Annual Report, there were 333,964 abortions performed in 2011.
Atkins expressed that she wants Boise State to be a pregnancy-friendly campus.
“In a time of crisis, women shouldn’t have to choose between dropping out of school or having an abortion,” Atkins said.
Atkins encourages pregnant women to seek out health centers other than Planned Parenthood.
“We have partnered with almost all of the local pregnancy resource centers,” Atkins said. “There’s one called Stanton Health Care and they provide free ultra sounds, free pregnancy tests, they provide free diapers, formula, wipes, most everything a woman would need.”
Brass Greer argues that Idaho and the Northwest, wants and needs Planned Parenthood facilities.
“We have three health centers in the state. Last year we served over 6,500 patients in the area and this year we are projected to serve over 9,000 so obviously they need us there and people rely on us for quality healt care and that’s our focus,” Brass Greer said.
Brass Greer stated that Planned Parenthood provides many important services apart from abortion.
“What we do and what we offer to the public is reproductive health care. A vast majority of what we do is preventive health care,” Brass Greer said. “Abortion is something we provide but again a vast majority is preventive, including annual exams, cancer screenings, STI screening and treatment.”
Boise State’s Women’s Center offers support to pregnant students regardless of their decision.
Adriane Bang, violence prevention and support coordinator, encouraged students to seek help from the Women’s Center.
“The Women’s Center staff support students experiencing a variety of issues, including pregnancy. We provide a safe, confidential, non-judgmental place where people can discuss their concerns and receive resources,” Bang said. “Our goal is to help students be successful academically, so we can assist in planning for pregnancy- related absences, address mobility issues, and connect students to an OB/GYN to discuss medical care and options.”