On Oct. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a group of anti-abortion protestors visited Las Positas College with posters that depict fetuses’ development in the womb, according to the demonstrators’ leader, William Wilberforce (William Wilberforce is a common alias used among the pro-life movement). Around 10 protestors in attendance gave out pamphlets titled “Unlock the truth about the 62 million missing” and promoted websites like Unborn.com.
“We’re a group of people who believe in educating people about the issue of abortion. We get people who want to get together and get out to colleges,” Wilberforce said.
According to Wilberforce, “An abortion is an act of violence that kills a human being.”
Wilberforce has been with the group for 40 years as they’ve traveled to colleges across the West Coast, mostly targeting California colleges. Before making appearances at Las Positas, the group visited Santa Maria College and Cosumnes River College.
James Cook, both a protestor and a pastor at the Whitehouse Baptist Church in Concord, explained that he came across this group while protesting outside a local abortion clinic as a sidewalk counselor, which he does twice a week. He promotes that women carry out pregnancy as an alternative method to abortion.
When asked what student response had been, Cook responded, “Ironically, most people are glad that we’re here. They never get to express their views as pro-abortion to anyone else except people who think like them.”
Contrarily, many students at the demonstration were upset with the protestors, several students arguing with Wilberforce, who wore a go-pro strapped to his backpack after prior instances of physical altercations at other colleges. Though, there were no physical altercations at Las Positas.
Rather than resorting to violence, students spoke with Wilberforce and Cook instead. One student told Wilberforce that her medical condition would kill a fetus if she was raped. As the argument intensified, Wilberforce told her that using the logic that she could do what she wanted with her body was the same logic as a rapist.
When questioned about the argument, he said “Well, she was getting emotional. I wouldn’t get emotional.”
He continued, “If you say to me it’s not a living, human being, according to Naomi Wolf and other (pro-choice leaders), if you say it’s not, your’re being delusional…Leaders of the pro-choice movement–not all of them–believe it’s a living human being because biology says it is.”
Naomi Wolf is a prominent figure in the pro-choice movement and is the author of “The Beauty Myth.”
Ray Herbert, a student opposed to the group, said they were “extremely misleading in both the images that were shown which are not accurate to the gestational period that they’ve marked it as…It’s also very disturbing in terms of the imagery that they’re putting up on school campus where people are not coming to see that.”
The gestational period is when a fetus develops between conception and birth. It describes how far a pregnancy has come along. Conception is when the sperm meets the egg.
“There is deliberate action they are taking to insight aggression with the students. They are being inflammatory with their language and pretending as if that is an imposition that other students are starting,” Herbert said.
Ed Widefield, another anti-abortion protestor, said that according to women who abort a pregnancy caused by rape, the abortion experience is just as traumatic.
“Talk to somebody that’s been through that and they’ll tell you that (it) isn’t their big concern. They regret that they might be 30 to 40 years later and are still going through the trauma of having that abortion,” Widefield said.
However, Herbert, who was a victim of rape and assault, contests that opinion.
“My rights as a human being and as a trans person would be uniquely impacted and denied by them,” said Herbert about anti-abortion groups.
Though the group promotes a non-school related topic, they don’t have to have school approval to solicit on campus, according to Las Positas security officer Mike Sulgi.
For more information about abortions, visit the World Health Organization website.
Lizzy Rager is the managing editor for The Express. Follow her @ragerwriter.
Information regarding William Wilberforce was revised on Friday, Oct. 14 at 12:42 p.m.