Yesterday, the University of Central Florida (UCF) was paid a visit by the not so pleasant anti-choice organization Created Equal.
They came toting large A-frames of doctored and extremely graphic images that they claimed to be “real abortions”, and literature urging women to bring a stop to this “modern Holocaust”.
Now, personally the second I hear some compare anything to the Holocaust that isn’t…you know…THE HOLOCAUST I tune out and write them off. But it pained me to watch my fellow students have to walk by those images and see how disgusted, angry, and even afraid they were to have their space infiltrated by Created Equal.
Their presence, however unwelcome it is, did speak volumes as to how the Orlando area and the greater State of Florida are very much rocking the anti-choice boat. Anti-choice interest groups have seen the turn that our state has taken and the very definite shift toward pro- choice and sex positive ideals in the millennials. Their aggressive campaigns and accessible marketing that my friend Allie mentions all tell me one thing: anti-choice groups and legislators are very very afraid of our generation. Rightly so.
We get a bad wrap as being lazy and apathetic. But I struggle to see why special interest groups would exhaust so much effort and money into appealing to a supposedly uninterested generation.
Anti-choicers understand the power and potential we have and that their cause is one we can fight against and win. We told them in the 2012 presidential election that we want someone who will protect our right to choice. We told them that we are not going to let our voices go unheard on this issue when students of the University of Central Florida stood in line to vote for up to three hours after it was announced that Obama had won the reelection.
Our generation saw tuition hikes and student loan rate increases that made it impossible for many to attend university. Our generation saw comprehensive sex education being debated on as though it is not our right to be correctly informed. Our generation saw a woman filibuster a piece of anti-choice legislation for eleven hours, without food, water, or rest, in Texas only to have the supporters of that bill lie and cheat to get their way. Our generation saw Congress shutdown the government, furloughing thousands of government workers, closing hundreds of monuments and parks, because god forbid people have access to affordable healthcare services.
We are tired of seeing our lives be decided on by people who do not hold our same ideals and we are not going to sit idly by as politicians bully and wrongfully dismiss us as a social and political force for change.
Groups like Created Equal and the Genocide Awareness Project will continue to come to our Florida campuses and push their triggering, doctored images and their warped agendas on us because we are beginning to see that our generation has the power to ensure access to abortions, comprehensive sex education, and affordable contraception for ourselves as well as the generations coming after us. And when Governor Rick Scott attends the Orlando Right to Life rally tomorrow night, just about twenty minutes from UCF, Valencia College, Seminole State, and Full Sail University, he will know what he’s going up against and that we are most definitely a formidable opponent. Florida’s millennials are going to fight and we are going to win the war for reproductive justice.