Anti-abortion group sues Oklahoma State University

An anti-abortion group is suing Oklahoma State University, saying university officials refused to allow them to distribute leaflets on campus. Cowboys for Life, an OSU student organization, claims university officials singled the group out because it opposes abortion rights.
by Silas Allen Modified: January 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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An anti-abortion group is suing Oklahoma State University, saying university officials refused to allow them to distribute leaflets on campus.

Cowboys for Life, an OSU student organization, claims university officials singled the group out because it opposes abortion rights. The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Oklahoma City.

The group seeks to have OSU's facilities use policy — the policy that dictates when and how groups may use university facilities — declared invalid. The group also is seeking $10,000 in damages.

The group had sought to hand out leaflets and carry signs in October at three locations on campus. The lawsuit alleges Kent Sampson, OSU's director of campus life, refused to allow the group to display graphic images in heavily trafficked areas of campus.

OSU spokesman Gary Shutt said Monday university officials have not seen the lawsuit.

Brently Olsson, the group's attorney, said the signs and leaflets featured pictures of an aborted fetus. The group uses the graphic imagery to show the result of abortion, Olsson said.

Olsson compared the group's use of graphic images of abortion to similar practices employed by William Wilberforce, an 18th-century British abolitionist crusader who showed the public the ghastly conditions endured by slaves aboard slave ships.

The images used in Cowboys for Life's leaflets and signs may be disturbing, Olsson said, but they make the group's point effectively.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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