Four months ago Diana Jimenez had an epiphany.
“I was pro-life but had no idea what an abortion looked like,” Diana told me today by phone. “Then I actually saw a video of an abortion, and my heart broke in pieces.”
A senior nursing student at Biola, a Christian university in La Mirada, California, Diana (pictured right) promptly launched a pro-life group and invited Gregg Cunningham, executive director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, to speak. After a great deal of energy was expended to publicize, only four students showed up.
Diana was compelled to attempt greater outreach, and the clock was ticking, with graduation just around the corner.
“I felt the need to expose the truth at the center of campus,” explained Diana. “The more I learned, the more I knew pictures were the most effective means. Pictures move beyond ways that words can express.”
Diana received permission to host a table with resources about abortion. On May 8 she, with a few representatives from CBR and two fellow students, set up her table after chapel let out, also displaying graphic signs of abortion.
In all, 1,500 students – some hostile – saw the signs before school administrators shut the group down.
“The campus safety officer’s biggest argument was, ‘You didn’t ask for permission,’” said Diana, who didn’t know she needed additional approval to show the signs. “They had a huge concern to not upset students, but it seemed no one gave a rip about the babies who are dying in the milions.”
Diana met with Hooper, offering to erect a warning sign and to have resources and counselors on hand, “but he told me ‘visceral images are not appropriate,’” said Diana.
Diana begged and pleaded and tried to think of various ways to work with the school but was flatly rejected.
Hooper told The Biola University Chimes, “We would agree to them displaying them in areas that are more enclosed where students can choose to see them.”
Diana’s response? “We tried to do it in a building, and four people is the turnout we got. This is exactly what the enemy wants – to hide abortion, hide the truth,” said Diana. “And Christians are helping.”
Solo, with one sign, Diana was shut down within 10 minutes by campus chief of security John Ojeisekhoba, who threatened to have her arrested and to not be allowed to graduate.
Diana got that debacle on video, which CBR has juxtaposed with excerpts of a speech by Biola president, Dr. Barry Corey, challenging Biola students to have the courage to stand for their convictions. “Courage is the fruit of conviction,” opined Corey. “The two must remain inseparable”…
In response to Ojeisekhoba’s threats to sue if Diana released the video, from CBR’s press release today:
She didn’t post this video. I, Gregg Cunningham, did, and I welcome any criminal or civil action the chief wishes to pursue. For his convenience, my contact information can be found at abortionNO.org.
Associate Dean Hooper followed up Diana’s second infraction with a letter threatening that if showed her signs a third time the consequences for “rebelling against authority” would be she couldn’t participate in commencement and would be banned from campus.
Meanwhile, Nurse Ratcheds exist in more than movies. Diana’s dean of nursing decided to take matters into her own hands and mete her own consequence. On May 22, Dr. Susan Elliott wrote a letter to all nursing faculty barring them from writing a letter of employment reference for Diana.
Diana maintains Elliott’s consequence is not within her authority and also not in the Biola handbook. I hope a pro-life attorney helps Dr. Elliott see the error of her ways.
Ironically, Elliott went to Washington, D.C., in March to lobby for conscience protections.
Elliott needs to lobby herself.
“The hypocrisy I’ve seen is also disappointing,” lamented Diana. “When I told Dr. Elliott the punishment was inappropriate, she said I should have thought about that before. Seriously? I’m trying to save lives, and this is what she does?”
Diana has since written a letter to the Biola administration and nursing department faculty explaining her motivation for showing the reality of abortion.
“Most people on this campus would say they’re pro-life, but they don’t have a strong enough conviction to do anything about it,” said Diana. “You can say you’re a Christian all day long, but where’s the evidence? We are challenged at Biola to say what we believe and what are we going to do about it.
“Four months ago I didn’t know anything about the issue,” Diana concluded. “These last four months have changed my life forever. I can’t believe we’re doing absolutely nothing for these babies or the women.”
Take action. Per CBR:
We are urging people of conscience to email Biola and ask the administration to stop abusing its students with repressive restrictions on expressive rights.
Officials can be reached as follows: President Barry Corey, email@example.com, Dean of Students Danny Paschall, firstname.lastname@example.org, Associate Dean of Students Matthew Hooper, email@example.com, Police Chief John Ojeisekhoba, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also post comments below the YouTube video depicting Ms. Jimenez’s mistreatment at http://youtu.be/3tILmCEUzio.
UPDATE: Biola has sent me a link to its response.