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The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Anti-abortion group causes commotion in Kogan Plaza

An anti-abortion group caused a commotion in Kogan Plaza Monday afternoon, handing out fliers and calling attention to their cause by playing bagpipes. Michelle Rattinger/Assistant Photo Editor

Updated 11:07 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Erica Obersi

A group of nearly 15 male members of an anti-abortion group caused a commotion in Kogan Plaza Monday afternoon, playing bagpipes and handing out fliers to passers-by opposing abortion.

The protest – organized by TFP Student Action, a “network of thousands of students and concerned parents across America, defending traditional moral values on college campuses,” according to the group’s official Web site – drew counter protests from students who opposed the groups anti-abortion message.

Students formed counter protests to the anti-abortion activists. Michelle Rattinger/Assistant Photo Editor

“Abortion is a key issue for our country that destroys the integrity of not just women, but the whole family and the stability of society,” said John Ritchie, a spokesperson for TFP Student Action. The group of protesters were not GW students.

While some students accepted the group’s fliers and walked by without so much as a glance, others like freshman Sara Ketabi said she was appalled by the bagpipes outside her residence hall, and called the group of men, “the real problem in this country.”

Ketabi and a friend confronted the group, questioning the logic of their arguments.

“They said they’re for the death penalty but against the murder [of unborn children],” Ketabi said.

Some students rushed to make signs to counter the protest.

Michelle Rattinger/Assistant Photo Editor

Sophomore Anna Frechette was among the growing number of counter protesters at the event.

“It is ultimately a woman’s decision to do what she wants with her body. This group of men has no say in the matter,” said Frechette, who felt it was disrespectful that this event was taking place on International Women’s Day – a day during women’s history month where women around the world celebrate the achievements made for equal rights over the years.

Anissa Najm, a freshman, said that men had no place in protesting a woman’s option.

“I think it’s ridiculous that a bunch of men are standing around, acting as if they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies when they will never have a uterus, never get pregnant, or ever have to deal with a baby resulting from a rape,” Najm said.

Although Richie agreed that rape and incest are unfortunate crimes that in certain cases lead to pregnancy, he said that abortion was not the solution to the problem.

“There are people who were born as a result of an unfortunate situation who have resulted into very successful people,” Ritchie said. “Abortion should never be the option.”

He added that he felt the day’s protest was a success.

“Student response has been excellent so far,” Ritchie said. “There were people who disagreed with our stance, but we’re not afraid to discuss the issue.”

– Michelle Rattinger contributed to this report

An earlier version of this story disclosed information that was not for publication. The information has been removed, and comment divulging the information has been deleted.

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