Anti-abortion group to show graphic videos on Jumbotron at University of Akron
AKRON, Ohio -- Created Equal, an anti-abortion group based in Columbus, is traveling to the University of Akron campus Thursday to project videos of what the group says are aborted fetuses onto a Jumbotron.
National director Mark Harrington told the Akron Beacon Journal that the group visited other Ohio universities with the Jumbotron, including Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.
The same group flew airplane banners over the Republican National Convention in 2016 in Cleveland with similar graphic images.
Created Equal first started using the Jumbotron in 2012 at the National March for Life.
To see what the Jumbotron looks like and some of the video content, click here.
Created Equal will be at UA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the Beacon Journal.
UA spokesman Wayne Hill confirmed in an email the group reserved the use of outdoor space on campus.
The university sent out an email about the group’s appearance on campus, stating the organization’s presence “in past years has raised questions about University policy for outside groups.”
Read the full statement from the university below:
“UA has approved a request by an outside group to present its ideas in a public space on campus tomorrow.The group’s presence in past years has raised questions about University policy for outside groups. We’d like to cover those policies briefly.
As a public institution, we are prohibited from censoring legal expressions of free speech, including speech that some may find controversial or offensive, as long as the activities do not infringe on the rights of others or on student learning (for instance, by the use of loudspeakers next to an academic building). All public universities have similar guidelines in place.
People and organizations are permitted to express their views and invite student participation on campus. Our approval of their presence on campus should not be viewed as an endorsement of their beliefs or speech; rather it reflects a process necessary to help ensure safety and uninterrupted student learning in our classrooms and labs.
Should you find a group’s message objectionable, you are encouraged to avoid the area or to engage peacefully.
Freedom of expression serves an essential educational function at a public university, and it is consistent with our role of encouraging and protecting a marketplace of ideas in both formal and informal settings.”