Impromptu Abortion Protest and Student Counter-Protest Occurs Outside Servo
By Alexis Doyle, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, pro-life individuals congregated outside Servo to protest abortion access. They held signs, wore suits with red sashes, and played bagpipes to project their opinions. Their signs read: “Pray and Act Against the Sin of Abortion” and “Smile! You Survived Abortion!”
The leaders of this protest are from The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP). The group is self-defined as “an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization” and is housed out of Hanover, Pennsylvania.
The members of TFP declined to comment on their decision to protest at Gettysburg College. They have held this protest, as well as others, on campus multiple times in the past few years.
In retaliation, many Gettysburg students protested their presence on campus from across the street. They held signs in support of women’s rights, pro-choice stances on abortion, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Campus Safety arrived quickly on the scene to separate the two groups, and the Gettysburg Police Department appeared too. Protestors were asked to remain on their respective sides of the street by authorities on the scene.
Many Gettysburg students felt passionate about protesting the attendance of the TFP organization on campus.
Although the area where TFP congregated was technically a public space, students like Maya Pabis ‘26 expressed concern for a non-university organization protesting in front of a popular campus destination.
She said, “It’s very anxiety-inducing. Walking up to my dining hall… while seeing these faces and hearing these bagpipes and yelling in my face while I’m just trying to eat.”
Other students, such as Katie Poliero ‘25, had similar thoughts about the origins of the protest, stating, “A lot of us are really riled up about having someone not from our campus come here and do something like this. It’s really upsetting.”
Poliero proceeded to comment on what the gathering of Gettysburg students meant to them.
“It means a lot to me that there are like a lot of people out here who are against this. It makes me a little bit more confident in our campus community being able to rally together against an outside force.”
Sayge Hervey ‘26 also thought the display of campus-wide support was notable.
She said, “I think it was really nice to see all the students out here from different organizations. You had men, women, non-binary people, you had staff and students, people in Greek life, people not in Greek life, sports teams—everyone was out here. I think it was really nice for the whole campus to come together.”
Further, Benjamin Sarnitsky ‘26 had personal connections with the impromptu protest held by Gettysburg students.
“I did this for my mom… my parents always taught me to stand up against people like that. Some people don’t know how to speak up for themselves so, you know, I wanted to make a space where they can try to,” he said.
Eventually, TFP left, and students dispersed soon after.