Graphic display causes controversy at UC

Published: Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM EST
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CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - A graphic billboard display is causing campus controversy at the University of Cincinnati.

A group of students unveiled 12 billboard-sized photographs of vaginas titled "Re-envisioning the Female Body" on Thursday.

The controversial display is receiving the expected mixed reviews.

"I guess it's free speech but I don't really want to see it," says Mathew Pflanz.

"It's pure beauty, it's motivating, it's inspiring, argues Alysia Uddin.

Ethan Kursin says it's "definitely a viewpoint I hadn't seen coming here."

For almost a year, a group of students led by Kate Elliott have wanted to speak out against the graphic images displayed during a genocide awareness project that she says compared reproductive choices to the Holocaust.

"They did it as a shaming tactic, a scare tactic," says Elliott.

Elliott hopes the billboards displaying 12 model's vaginas along with a quote start conversations about the exploitation of women's bodies in advertising, health care and reproductive rights.

"The more people I told I found that more people were really interested and actually volunteered to model," Elliott said.

Aysia Uddin agrees saying, "It means the right to one's body, the right to do as you choose. The right of choice."

A group of Bearcat students urged the university to take down the images citing obscenity, but campus officials announced the billboards are allowed to remain on display under first amendment rights.

Students behind the project say they hope to expand to other college campuses around the area. If you didn't get a chance to come check out the project on Thursday, it will also be up for display on Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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