On April 8, there a pro-life table was stationed in the Student Union Building, in front of Lounge 100. Students were baffled by the table’s presence, considering SUNY New Paltz is supposed to be a progressive school.
The table is run by a “Students For Life of America” (SFL) group, according to New Paltz’s Student Engagement. SFL states they exist to “educate students on abortion and help make it unthinkable,” and that they are “dedicated to helping mothers during and after pregnancy.” The organization’s Constitution states its purpose is to “work to save lives threatened by induced abortion, euthanasia and the destruction of human embryos for research.”
At the SUB, SFL had multiple infographics showcasing the effects of the “Chemical Abortion,” details about the “Abortion Industry’s Plan for a Post-Roe America” and one that stated “The Supreme Court Is Ready To Reverse Roe v. Wade.” The graphics refer to the opposing side as “they,” not exactly specifying who or what this organization’s opposition is, but many speculate their opposition is either Planned Parenthood or leftists.
The table promoted many anti-abortion agendas, including untrue claims over the effects of mifepristone, falsely stating it is “4x riskier than surgical abortion.” Mifepristone (also known as mifeprex) is a drug that blocks the progesterone hormone and can end a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks along. It was previously known as RU486 and is sometimes called the “abortion pill.”
Another infographic that was on display included an argument about “Decreased Women’s Safety,” which stated that abortion harms women, such as in the extreme cases of underlying medical conditions for those who take the mifepristone.
Each infographic SFL has displayed a website titled ThisIsChemicalAbortion.com, whose mission is to stop chemical abortions with the Teleabortion Prevention Act of 2021. Introduced by Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), the act aims to “hold accountable medical professionals providing remote healthcare.” If passed, this bill will require healthcare providers to conduct a physical examination, to be present during the monthly chemical abortion intake, and schedule a follow-up visit for the patient.”
Student For Life’s website stands by its argument that abortion is considered violence. The organization does not believe that sexual assault is a justification for abortion, nor the idea that the life and health of the mother are grounds for abortion.
First-year student, Elijah Fazli, decided to record the anti-abortion displays and had an interaction with a person running the stand. Fazli was curious about what those tables were saying and wanted to take a few photos of the information SFL was promoting.
“I’m taking a picture of this because I’m like, this is silly,” Fazli states in the 15-second video they took. Fazli had already had a disagreement with the woman leading the table prior to this interaction, but they decided to come back and share this information with their friends.
The woman, who has remained unidentified, begins to taunt Fazli by saying, “Oh go ahead. Go ahead and do it.” She is seen wearing a sweatshirt that reads “Choose Life,” which is SFL merchandise. When Fazli turns their camera toward the voice, the woman swats the phone out of their hands and it falls to the floor.
The woman can be heard in the background, “No, don’t take a photo of me, you [inaudible].”
“When she tried taking my phone, I was really about to start something but I didn’t want to get kicked out of school over some girl,” Fazli said following the incident. They are glad they caught the action on camera though.
Students For Life has not replied for a comment.