BLOOMSBURG, PA- On Monday afternoon, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) brought their anti-abortion protest to Bloomsburg University’s campus and set up camp on the outskirts of the quad. Within 15 minutes, counter protesters came forward to block them.
The TFP held their association’s flag proudly along-side the flag of the US as its adolescent members dressed in red cloths played the bagpipes, handed out brochures on “10 reasons to Protect the Unborn”, and attempted to debate with counter protesters.
“Don’t Argue with them, that’s exactly what they want”, one counter protester said.
The students continued to ignore members of the TFP’s attempts to talk with them when a member came up to students with a camera and a microphone. They all refused to be a part of any of their media.
Students held up a makeshift white banner to block out the TFP’s banner which said “Pray the Rosary to End Abortion.” In addition to the banner, several students dressed up as angels in reference to The Laramie Project.
One of the angels, Kristin McCullough explained that she was there to “block out the haters.” McCullough went on to say that she “want[s] to protect our community and protect our rights”.
Members of the Women’s Resource Center dressed up in red cloths similar to the members of the TFP as they counter protested the anti-abortion message. They held up signs that said “The WRC supports ALL women and the choices”, and “The more you try to silence us, the louder we become”.
The Woman’s Resource Center also handed out informative literature on the LGBTQA community such as the “genderbread person,” and promoted their upcoming event “The Vagina Monologue”
This is not the first visit the TFP has paid to Bloomsburg University. Last year, the group showed up to and held an anti-trans protest and students were quick to counter protest their efforts then as well.
When asked about the reasoning behind the anti-abortion protest, John Ritchie, the on-site media spokesperson for the TFP said “Our mission and our purpose is to defend moral values in society and foremost among those values is the right to life… and apposing the sin of abortion”
Most of the young boys that the TFP brought with them to the protest were students from an all-boys boarding school called St. Louis de Montfort Academy that is staffed by full-time TFP members who volunteer their time. Although the boys at St. Louis de Montfort Academy are not yet official members of the TFP, they stand by its beliefs.
The academy frequently takes their students on protests such as this. Below is a video from the St. Lois de Montfort Acadamy Youtube channel as they protest gay marriage in front of a longhorn steakhouse. They named the video “Rally for True Marriage”
Bloomsburg University students have come to associate the sounds of bagpipes and the appearance of the red-caped crusaders with a call-to-action. As long as the TFP intend on protesting on-campus, Bloomsburg University students will counter them.