The Genocide Awareness Project is the brainchild of Gregg Cunningham, the executive director and founder of the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR). CBR was founded in 1990 as a non-profit educational corporation, operating on the principle that abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words cannot be effective to describe its horror. “Until abortion is seen, it will never be understood,” Cunningham explains.

GAP is a photo-mural display that compares the atrocity of abortion with historically recognized genocides. The display targets university campuses in an attempt to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context. The display places images of aborted fetuses next to pictures of victims of recognized genocides to make the point that genocide is always built on the “choice” of those in power to systematically destroy those who are not in power.

CBR has a large display of 35 murals that measure six-by-13 feet, which travels around American campuses with a professional team. The display is usually erected in two levels to maximize exposure to the images. Because Canada does not have the same freedom of speech and expression protections the U.S. has, CBR has been unable to do a full-scale GAP in Canada.

Instead, pro-life clubs on Canadian campuses organize their own “mini-GAPs,” purchasing smaller versions of the CBR signs and setting up smaller displays staffed by students.

In 1999, CBR attempted to erect a full-scale GAP at the University of British Columbia. University officials demanded that organizers put up the display in a little-frequented field and pay $10,000 for security. CBR found this unacceptable, as it was prohibitively expensive, and the obscure location undermined the whole purpose of the display.

Because of the university’s actions, the pro-life club at UBC decided to do their own display, and out of that decision “mini-GAP” was born. Students had smaller signs printed so that they could be hand-held and set up the display in front of the Goddess of Democracy statue on campus. Pro-abortion students attacked the pro-lifers, ripping the laminated signs in half with their bare hands, overturning information tables, and acting aggressively against the pro-life students, who videotaped the attack.

In spite of, or possibly because of, this adversity, the pro-life club began doing mini-GAPs several times a term. The idea caught on, and university clubs across North America began holding the smaller displays.

Gillian Long