H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Sep 30, 2010 8:38 PM by Danielle Lerner

Pro-Life display sparks controversy on Cuesta College campus

Controversy at Cuesta College Thursday when an anti-abortion group displayed graphic images of human fetuses on campus.

The photos were also put up outside the school's "Free Speech Zone" but administrators ultimately allowed them to stay.

"I do believe they have a right to be here," said Queena Morales, a student. "I think the students really should know."

"When I'm done doing homework the first thing I see is a picture of a dead bloody baby," said Drew Kirsch, who also attends Cuesta College. "That's just not right."

The images are too graphic for television but they were certainly turning heads and sparking debate Thursday afternoon.

"I don't really think I should have to see that on my way to do homework," said Emily Wolf.

"It's kind of gross to look at but it's interesting to me, even though it's really sad," said Stephanie Schwartz.

A pro-life group called Project Truth put up the photos. Member Don Blythe says the goal is simple, to educate young people about abortion through visuals and conversation.

"Sure students are upset, we should be upset," said Blythe. "Abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby."

The controversial photos also had several pro-choice people voicing their opinions.

"They're trying to intimidate and put fear into people," said Linda Scott, who works at Cuesta College.

The display's location on campus was another source of scrutiny.

"There are several free speech areas on campus but I think this group elected not to use them because there's less student traffic at those free speech areas today," said Stephan Gunsaulus, Cuesta's director of marketing and communication.

"They wanted us to go out and set up our displays where the squirrels are, and we don't want to do that," said Blythe. "We want to set it up in the area where the students are walking."

Administrators ultimately let the group stay as long as they did not interfere with the students' abilities to learn.

A spokesman for the school says it created those "Free Speech Zones" several years ago so traffic patterns on campus may have changed since then.

Project Truth is based out of the Sacramento-Stockton area.

It stopped at Cuesta as part of its Central Coast tour.

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