For Immediate Release:
September 25, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Portland, Ore. – PETA has erected a sky-high image of a “half-woman, half-pig” near the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) campus for students to see on the first day of classes, along with a message pointing out that the school uses live pigs as stand-ins for women to train its obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) physician residents.
PETA’s campus takeover—which also includes a mobile billboard playing a video and asking students to urge the school to end the invasive medical training procedures—highlights that dozens of OHSU OB/GYN residents have cut into as many as 48 female pigs, dissected their organs, and performed other invasive surgeries despite vast anatomical differences between humans and pigs. The pigs were later killed.
“Pigs feel pain as we do, but they’re anatomically different animals who aren’t stand-ins for women,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on OHSU to stop killing pigs and switch to the advanced, highly realistic simulators found in nearly every other accredited OB/GYN program.”
Familiarity with human anatomical structures is crucial in medicine and physicians must often make lifesaving decisions within seconds, which is why so many OB/GYN programs—including Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center—switched to superior, human-relevant simulators after hearing from PETA. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense banned the use of animals for OB/GYN residency training in favor of animal-free methods, which are cost-effective, simulate real medical situations, and provide students with vital opportunities to repeat procedures until they’re proficient.
The billboard is located at the intersection of W. Burnside Street and S.W. Third Avenue.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.