Pro-life protestors gather on James Madison Drive

Ava Bartolone, Entertainment Editor

Sporadically, a group of pro-lifers assemble on James Madison Drive to protest a women’s right to choose whether or not to get an abortion. The topic of abortion has become very politicized recently with the overturning of Roe v. Wade igniting that sentiment. Currently in Virginia, abortion is legal with no restrictions until the 25th week of pregnancy. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Governor Glenn Youngkin pushed for a 15 week abortion ban. A poll done by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center states that 67% of Virginians said they believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.The Wason Center is an online polling and data collection site run by Christopher Newport University. They strive to provide unbiased, accurate civil information and data. Despite the majority of Virginians being in support of abortion access, there are still many who believe abortion should be illegal. Including the pro-lifers who gather on James Madison Drive.

These protestors tend to show up at the end of the school day when the buses leave via James Madison Drive. This is the busiest time of the day, so it makes sense that protestors would show up during this time. These pro-lifers attempt to target and change students’ ideas about the topic, in hopes of gaining more supporters, but they have been met with quite the opposite response. These protestors have been met with ignorance and profanity by students rather than support. Clearly, the response to these protesters has been largely negative. Even parents have responded to school emails about these protestors with sarcastic and disapproving remarks. Many parents don’t want their children exposed to this kind of protesting on school property, where their kids are supposed to be educated in an unbiased environment.

Although the protestors aren’t directly breaking any rules, the school keeps a close eye on them to ensure that they do not trespass onto school property. Many argue that these protestors have a right to protest on James Madison Drive, which is essentially true, but it is not appropriate. Exercising your civil right to freedom of speech and press is allowed, but it is morally wrong to target children who may be more vulnerable and uneducated. The reason these protestors target the school is because they believe they can scare children into supporting their cause by using false information. The topic of abortion is surrounded by misinformation and religious beliefs and biases. This topic is something that should be talked about at home. Because of the biases and false information surrounding this topic, young people are particularly vulnerable to these types of protestors. It is inappropriate for these pro-lifers to protest so close to a school zone and spread misinformation and fear.