Abortion Supporters, and Now Dissenters, Organize On Campus

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Abortion is a controversial topic that has sparked debate nationwide. While a pro-abortion rights organization on campus has been vocal, there is no organized group for those who are against abortion.

Freshman Jacob Hoback saw the lack of united anti-abortion voices at Ohio University and is working to start a Students for Life of America (SFLA) chapter next fall.

SFLA is a national organization that works to abolish abortion by involving high school, college, law school and medical school students as anti-abortion activists on campuses nationwide.

Hoback is passionate about anti-abortion activism and is eager to bring like-minded students together in his organization, “Bobcats for Life.”

“We want to just spread the message across that, and it has been biologically proven, that a person exists at the time of conception,” Hoback said. “We want people to know that no one is less of a person because of their age.”

The main goal of Bobcats for Life is to educate the community on abortion, promote alternatives for pregnant women and advocate for the oppressed unborn babies, Hoback said.

“Our first step is to get rid of why people feel guilt and that is to stop the babies from being killed,” Hoback said.

Hoback posts on Facebook regularly with updates on his opinions and other information regarding abortion. Students have responded offering his or her points of view on the issue.

"I knew that before it even started that I was going to get a lot of hate, and I thought I was ready, until I got that first message," Hoback said.
“I knew that before it even started that I was going to get a lot of hate, and I thought I was ready, until I got that first message,” Hoback said.

Hoback has received backlash through social media, such as negative comments on his Facebook posts, and through emails and texts by students who support abortion rights.

“I remember the first thing I got is that people just started commenting on my Facebook statuses from weeks ago,” Hoback said. “They were using like the F-Bomb and all that stuff on my personal page and just attacking me, and I think that they were even attacking some of my friends.”

This fear and hate is prevalent on both sides, according to a member of a group on the other end of the issue.

Cecillia Ellis, president of Generation Action, an organization that serves as the voice of Planned Parenthood at Ohio University, said she is nervous.

“Everyone has the right to express their opinion,” Ellis said. “They totally have the right to exist and exist as they wish, but I hope that they exist respectfully and aren’t a voice of hate and negativity and repression on campus.”

Hoback believes that abortion should never be acceptable.

“I know that rape is such a touchy subject and such a bad thing that happens, but I mean what kind of a message does that send the people if we say we need to respond to being hurt by violence?” Hoback said. “I don’t think killing someone as a result of problems is very acceptable.”

However, Ellis believes that everything is not as simple as it seems.

“Everything is not cut and dry and this is definitely not a cut and dry issue,” Ellis said.

Both Hoback and Ellis said they are open to working together to spread awareness, fundraise and educate the student body on abortion.

“I think everyone does have certain common goals where we can agree,” Ellis said.