Big, pink Planned Parenthood displays are popping up at college campuses across the nation. But it’s not what you think.
The pro-life group Students for Life of America has organized a college tour where it puts up the displays to educate students about what it calls the “true nature” of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Students for Life developed its Planned Parenthood Project after conducting polls in 2012 that found that 59 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 didn’t know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions. The poll also found that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are within five miles of a college campus.
The student group says its pink displays feature statistics from Planned Parenthood’s annual report along with testimony from the organization’s former employees and patients. The exhibits also feature 897 pink crosses—the average number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs each day.
“This is the biggest semester we’ve had,” Kristina Hernandez, director of communications for Students for Life, told The Daily Signal.
Hernandez said the initiative has been met with pushback at some colleges—even Christian ones—but students are “more interested than ever.”
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Sullivan Hughes, co-president of Right to Life, a student club at the University of Utah, said the project is “a good opportunity to get out the facts about Planned Parenthood.”
“We just want to let students on campus know that Planned Parenthood isn’t their only option,” Hughes said.
Hughes and fellow club members participated in the Planned Parenthood Project at their school.
“People were pretty upset,” Hughes said. “We got angry people, name-calling, but for the most part they were able to see what we were trying to accomplish.”
He said that in his experience, few students knew about the controversy that has surrounded Planned Parenthood for months.
“I was actually surprised at the number of people who had no idea about the videos,” Hughes said, referring to the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress that fueled allegations that Planned Parenthood has trafficked in the body parts of aborted babies.
Profiting from the sale of human body parts—including those of the unborn—is a felony in the United States. Spokesmen for Planned Parenthood have denied participating in illegal transactions. The organization recently announced that it no longer will accept “reimbursement” for donations of body parts to researchers.
In a prepared statement, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said:
This past summer, the nation had the chance to see what goes on behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthood, thanks to undercover videos that showed top-level executives touting the horrific business practice of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies and selling them for profit. College-aged women make up a majority of all abortions and we have found that when these students are made aware of the true nature of Planned Parenthood, they are rightly shocked and turn against Planned Parenthood.
Here are some student reactions to the Planned Parenthood Project, as recorded by the group: