Content warning: this article contains graphic images of an anti-abortion poster, discusses abortions and some misogynistic language.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, two middle-aged male anti-abortion protestors visited Meredith College. The protestors, who were not Meredith students, gathered in the Belk Dining Hall courtyard with anti-abortion signage. The same protestors also visited NC State’s campus on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and claimed to be affiliated with a group called Bible Believers.
The Herald reached out to Jessica Aycock, a senior at NC State, who confirmed that the men at Meredith were the same who were on campus at NC State the day before.
The “College Policies and Regulations” of Meredith’s Student Handbook states that “Members of the Meredith College community express their views through a variety of established means” and that “The College also recognizes the right of an individual to express views through dissent and peaceful protest.” Meredith also ”has an obligation and responsibility to protect the rights of individuals who do not wish to participate in demonstrations and whose educational or employment pursuits must not be disrupted.”
Kara Browning, ‘24, witnessed the protest with another student. She recounted that the men were yelling, “It is not your body or your choice, it is God’s body and his choice” and that “anyone who gets abortions or agrees with them will go to hell.” One of the men was also yelling at students, calling them “sluts” and “whores”.
Holly Obermiller, ‘24, was “not surprised that they were protesting, but rather that they chose to come to a small, historically women's, liberal arts college to do so.” Obermiller explained that a member of the LGBTQIA+ community was told that a man could “straighten them out”
Browning explained that the incident made her angry. “It was infuriating considering this is our space, a safe space for women, trans and non-binary students and yet here are two cis men taking our space and yelling profanities at us,” she said.
“The fact that this campus was so easily accessible to possibly dangerous people is honestly terrifying,” Obermiller said.
The Herald contacted Meredith College Campus Security for more information on the protest, but no one was available to comment at the time. The Herald also reached out to Dean Gleason who could not comment due to not having a formal incident report and not wanting to speak on behalf of Campus Police. However, an email was sent to the student body, explaining what took place. The email explained that two men ”were harassing Meredith community members as part of an anti-abortion protest” and that Campus Police “escorted them off campus.”
The email also stated that the College “respects the right to protest, but these individuals were not complying with the College’s public demonstration policy.”
By Aminah Jenkins, Editor in Chief, and Freya Dahlgren, Features Editor