As ThinkProgress has reported, anti-abortion protesters are increasingly targeting high schools and middle schools in their public crusade against reproductive rights, often forcing students to look at disturbing graphic images as they make their way to class.
But one Maryland student is speaking out against the protesters, calling their antics distracting and upsetting for students who are just trying to get an education. In a Baltimore Sun Letter to the Editor titled “Shocked by protest at Bel Air High,” junior Maddie Walz gives her view on how protests outside her high school are affecting her and her classmates:
They hold up signs displaying text and images opposing abortion. The images are gruesome photographs of unborn, blood-covered fetuses. Quite the eye-grabber… [...]
Regardless of the shock-factor that surely did hit students varying between ages of 14-18, not to mention staff, I feel that this protesting is not appropriate in a school environment. [...] Pro-life supporters who feel the need to hold up disturbing photographs in front of a high school setting are certainly giving their cause a bad name, not helping their cause.
I’ll be completely honest…I do not support abortion, but I definitely do not support older men holding up signs of these types of images as I pull in to school in the morning. Young people should not be obliged to see those types of images. Don’t try to tell me we don’t have to look…because these guys were pretty hard to miss.
Several students that I spoke to at school were angered by the photo. We are coming to school to get an education, not have our political views influenced or judged by outside parties or groups.
Maryland has become a hotbed of anti-abortion activity since Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of the few doctors in the country who openly acknowledges performing third trimester abortions, began practicing in the state in December. Protesters have continually targeted his Germantown clinic and, in a disgusting attempt to shut him down, even targeted the sixth grade daughter of the man who simply owns the office park where the clinic is located.
(HT: RH Reality Check)