Students protest Bobst Library anti-abortion demonstrators

NYU students rallied for reproductive rights in Washington Square Park last Thursday in response to an anti-abortion protest outside of NYU’s Bobst Library the previous week.

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Sam Tu

After an anti-abortion demonstration on NYU’s campus, NYU students organized a protest at Washington Square Park on March 31. (Staff Photo by Sam Tu)

Lauren Ashe, Senior Staff Writer

Dozens gathered near the Washington Square Park arch in support of reproductive rights on Thursday, March 31 in response to an anti-abortion protest that took place outside of Bobst Library the prior week. The protest was organized by GLS sophomore JJ Briscoe, Silver sophomore Gigi Moss, CAS sophomore Tina Panda and LS sophomore Pramath Misra. 

The 15 anti-abortion protesters who demonstrated on campus on March 23 said they were from Created Equal, a national organization that travels around the country picketing at universities, abortion clinics and parks. They wore body cameras and displayed images of aborted fetuses.

The four student organizers encountered the anti-abortion protest separately while walking to class. They said they felt encouraged to start their own rally to call on NYU to change its response to incidents affecting students near campus.

“We’re in New York City, at NYU,” Briscoe said. “Is that actually going to happen? Are we going to let that fly? I don’t think that we should.”

During the rally, many students spoke about the negative effects of the anti-abortion protest on the university community and those who witnessed the graphic posters or were pestered. Tzivia Appleman, a CAS senior and the alternate senator at-large representing Jewish students in NYU’s student government, spoke about how many people associate anti-abortion beliefs with religion.

It’s really important that we fight back for our rights, because they’re still in jeopardy.”

— NYU sophomore Gigi Moss

“Especially as a woman of faith, oftentimes people say, ‘You’re going to be conservative, or you’re going to be anti-women,’” Appleman said. “As someone who is very deeply religious, I find so much of women’s empowerment to be based in my religion, and I don’t see it as an oppressive tool at all.”

Throughout the protest, speakers advocated for students to publicly oppose laws recently passed in Texas and Idaho, both of which ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation has been met with widespread resistance.

“There’s been a lot of swing in the other direction,” Moss said. “It’s really important that we fight back for our rights, because they’re still in jeopardy.” 

Correction, April 4: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported Gigi Moss’ religion and mischaracterized their and their sister’s upbringing. It also attributed facts about their sister’s life to their own life. The article has been updated to remove these inaccuracies. WSN regrets the error.

Contact Lauren Ashe at [email protected]