Disturbing trend on college campuses: Attacks on pro-life free speech rights

On Monday, October 16, pro-life students at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio had their chalkings destroyed. This is another instance of attacks on free speech on college campuses. Even worse, students openly celebrated the destroyed chalkings on Facebook and Twitter:

The school says they have no policy on the erasing of chalking. Brian Istenes, president of Baldwin Wallace Right-To-Life on campus said, “Someone else posted a link to donate to PP on Facebook, and people loved that, and it got over $200 in donations! Other students were also calling her an MVP.  An MVP for what? Violating my free speech, yeah cause that’s MVP worthy!  This event proves that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to education! Also after the event, the student body Presidents, sent out an email with the freedom of expression policy and a reminder about it! Do I regret sidewalk chalking, no! Do I wish the outcome was different, yes absolutely. I am not mad people disagreed with what I wrote, I am mad they violated my free speech rights. I don’t care if all 4,000 students on campus hate me, even if I changed the mind of one person, that’s all that matters, and it was worth it!”

This is sadly not the first time this semester that SFLA members have had their chalkings destroyed. In mid-September, pro-life students chalked at George Mason University, a public university, outside of a NARAL conference. Video below shows conference attendees destroying the chalking.

“Censorship is not free speech and no one has a First Amendment right to prevent others from speaking,” said Casey Mattox, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom in response to the George Mason situation. “George Mason University should be protecting the free speech rights of its students and encouraging robust debate, not siding with those who choose to stifle student speech that fully complied with the university’s written policies.”

There are countless more stories. At Northern Kentucky University, vandals erased or rewrote over pro-life messages to either cover them up or turn them into pro-abortion messages.

Just on Monday, people stole 175 crosses from a pro-life and anti-violence display at St. Louis University, a Catholic university.

As Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America wrote in a recent op-ed in Fox News, “Over the last few weeks, the free speech rights of students on college campuses have been violated as peaceful chalk messages from students have been destroyed, flyers pulled down and permits for new pro-life groups and speakers slow walked through the approval process to prevent voices from being heard. If you haven’t heard about the college blockade taking place even this week, perhaps it is because the students whose voices are being forcibly silenced favor life over abortion. And while they may not get the attention that millionaire athletes can garner, their points of view are no less valid.”

Students on every campus, in every state, of all political beliefs, should be free to express their opinions without violent attacks on their free speech rights.

Attacks on free speech at Catholic University

Late Monday night, vandals at St. Louis University, a Catholic university in St. Louis, destroyed a Cemetery of Innocents display. The display was commemorating lives lost to abortion and other types of violence.

“Once again, pro-life free speech has been squelched on an university campus. It was truly an atrocious act to steal crosses from this inclusive event that represent lives lost to abortion, homicide, and those who suffer in poverty in our nation. Students for Life strongly condemns the anti-free speech disease that is plaguing our college campuses. The Students for Life group at St. Louis University was bringing a message of truth, love, and compassion to their campus. The intolerant people who ruined a display about the value of life should feel ashamed. We hope the university will quickly find the perpetrators and replace our students’ crosses,” said Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America.

Reagan Barklage, Western Regional Director said, “It’s very unfortunate that when a pro-life group uses their free speech rights as an approved student group, that their display is not only vandalized, but stolen. This display was a memorial for those lives ended by abortion and other acts of violence, and to see it completely destroyed is not only disrespectful to SLU Students for Life, but also to all of those innocent lives that were taken. I hope that the administration at St. Louis University holds whomever is responsible for this hideous action accountable.”

Brielle Heraty, a member of SLU Students for Life said, the club is “deeply saddened to see our display stolen. However, we wholeheartedly forgive the perpetrators of this act and hope that we can come to a place of common ground, effective dialogue, and pursuit of truth….SLU SFL is mobilizing and we will not allow our voices to be silenced. We will continue to be a voice for life from conception until death, advocating for the most vulnerable among us regardless of age, appearance, ability, or background.”

A report has been filed with the university and the issue is under investigation.

Illinois Pro-life Student Group Hit With Vandalism

The Live Pro-life student group at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois has been hit with vandalism twice in the past two weeks. The pro-life group set-up a display initially on November 3rd with a large sign that read “Abortion Takes Human Life” along with rows of white crosses representing the 113 humans aborted each day in Illinois.

Initially some of the crosses were torn out of the ground or kicked over and cut up with a knife. Then someone splashed paint all over the large sign that explained what the memorial of crosses meant.

Chris Iverson, with Live Pro-Life, discusses what happened in this YouTube video and asks pro-lifers to please pray for the vandals:

The group did file a police report.

“It’s sad that [the people who damaged the display] would vandalize something that speaks the truth,” said Jessica, a 17-year-old junior at Christian Liberty Academy, which is a school for preschoolers through 12th graders.

The crosses are representations of each child aborted every day in the state of Illinois. One post-abortive mother was sad to see the vandalism that happened.

“In 1995, I saw the 4,000 crosses on the lawn.  I stopped by on a rainy day and had a quiet moment remembering Michael and David, the two sons I had aborted years ago.  I wrote their names on the crosses to grieve their deaths.  It was the beginning of healing for me,” said Sandy Weir, PhD, as she remembers a special abortion memorial at Christian Liberty Academy before Mother’s Day in 1995.  “Seeing these signs vandalized today among the crosses honoring the children aborted in Illinois feels like an attack against women like me who want to come out of the shadows of the pain of abortion.”

If you would like to help the group replace these signs, you can donate here: http://www.churchofchristianliberty.org/missions/live-pro-life-group.html

Students Respond after Pro-Choice Advocates Vandalize Chalkings

By Sade Patterson, SFLA Correspondent

Most college students would spend their Saturday morning sleeping in or catching a movie, but members of Students for Life at The University of New Mexico (UNM) chose to meet on campus to chalk instead.

It all began last Thursday night during the group’s bi-weekly meeting when 11 members decided to chalk pro-life messages on their campus.

“We mainly chalked near the Student Union Building on the north side, in the plaza area, and the area between the duck pond, Mitchell Hall, and Zimmerman library” explained the president of SFL at UNM, Jessica Roseman.IMG_8014

The group spent the evening chalking various messages like, “Heart starts beating at 16 days”, “Abortion is legal to the day of birth in NM”, “Choose life”, “Women are stronger than abortion”, “Adoption is always an option”, and “Equal rights for the preborn.”

During all the chalking, members at UNM were able to have several conversations with other students who would stroll by, interested in what they were writing.

“We had two sign-ups for our group” said Roseman. “One man who said he was glad we were out there doing it, and another student had a conversation with one of our members about when life begins.”

The biggest thing the group recognized was that all of the people they spoke to were men. They even met a post-abortive man who came and spoke to them that evening.

The group returned to campus the next morning to find all of their messages vandalized. In the past, members of Students for Life at UNM have found their chalk washed away with water, but what they saw Friday morning intrigued them.

“A friend from the Newman Center told us that she saw a man with a bag of chalk writing ‘women’s choice’ on our messages. They did a combination of making our previous messages darker, erased some comments, and responded to others,” said Roseman.

On one message that read, “There are 1.1 million US abortions each year”, they added, “And? There may be a great reason for them.” They crossed out “life” in “pro-life” and added “women’s personal decision” and “What welfare do you propose for single mothers then?” Added to “The heart beat starts at 16 days” was the question, “We respect women’s decisions. Why don’t you?” On the same pro-life message some distance away they wrote, “Let women decide.”IMG_8018

After noticing the vandalism, the group decided to meet on Saturday morning and add messages to the pro-choice additions; they decided to have a chalking-dialogue.

David Rodriguez, Sidewalk Advocates Coordinator for SFL at UNM described one of the messages they added that morning. “The pro-choicer wrote, “Let women decide,” so we responded by adding “…life for herself & her child” right after, so the final message was “[The heartbeat starts at 16 days #prolife. Let women decide … life for herself & her child.”

The group also added messages like, “Keep calm and choose life” and “Moms are heroes.” “We hope that this may be a small way to communicate our love to all moms in an educational institution that is rotting from supporting the Culture of Death,” said Rodriguez.

IMG_8016When asked if Students for Life at UNM would report the vandalism, Roseman commented, “We don’t plan to report it. That individual has the right to respond. What we are doing is causing others to break out of their indifference to the subject of abortion and remind them that this is a vital social issue we are facing.”

So what’s next for Students for Life at UNM? Will they continue to chalk after seeing their work vandalized? Roseman and her group said this experience only excited them to do it again.

VANDALS CAN’T HANDLE PRO-LIFE MESSAGES AT GEORGETOWN

Surprise! Another vandalism episode from National Pro-Life Chalk Day yesterday. This time, the pro-abortion crowd at Georgetown University, a Catholic school in Washington, DC, couldn’t resist suppressing pro-life messages when they came across chalkings that said “Love Them Both” and “Choose Life.”Gtown vandals1

They proceeded to scratch over the offensive words (i.e. LIFE, ABORTION) and write
some of their own. For instance, they transformed “Choose Life” into “Choose Women”. They made “End Abortion” into “End Racism”, which really, pro-lifers would be in favor of helping women and ending racism anyways, but this chalking display happened to be focused on abortion and loving both mom and baby.

As Georgetown RTL writes on their blog:

“With our chalk display of “Love them both” today, we send two main messages to the Georgetown community. First, we want to spread the message that life does begin at conception. From its first moment, the child possesses inalienable rights and dignity we must respect. Second, we are sending a message of love and mercy to women. We should strive to create a society where the option of abortion is unthinkable and where all women are able to raise their children, regardless of factors such as race or socioeconomic status. Only then will many of society’s ills be cured, and we will be freed from the specter of death from abortion.”

Well said!

The pro-life group was dismayed by the vandalism but overall was just hoping that their peers would see the love and compassion they have for women facing unplanned pregnancies and their babies.

“We at Georgetown Right to Life will continue to emphasize our message of love,” said Sophia Irvine, president of the club, to Townhall.com. “Abortion is a social justice issue, and we hope that we can find common ground with those with whom we disagree.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON PRO-LIFE CLUB CONFRONTS VANDALS

National Pro-Life Chalk Day was yesterday and the Students for Life club at the University of Mary Washington, a public university in Fredericksburg, Virginia decided to chalk positive pro-life messages on the sidewalks like “Love Them Both” and “Vote Pro-Life First.”

111But as has happened with other schools, pro-choice students got mad about the pro-life messages and decided to vandalize the chalkings. Usually our students aren’t able to talk to these vandals but at this school, it was different – and caught on camera. The girl speaking in most of the videos is Students for Life of America’s Capital Area Regional Coordinator Lori Cascio.

1 j

Inspired to do your own pro-life chalkings at your school? Here is what you need to do:

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Pick up sidewalk chalk (Walmart, drug stores, Hobby Lobby)
Step 2: Collect your pro-life friends (this is optional, but helpful)
Step 3: Find a heavily trafficked public area
Step 4: Chalk short pro-life messages in large letters everywhere

Example Messages You Can Use:

  • Abortion Hurts Women
  • Women Need Love Not Abortion
  • Restore Preborn Rights
  • Human Rights for All: Born & Preborn
  • Heartbeat Begins Beating at 21 Days
  • Social Justice Begins in the Womb
  • Adoption Not Abortion
  • Love them both
  • Abortion = Preborn Genocide
  • True Feminists are Pro-Life
  • Peace Begins in the Womb
  • Planned Parenthood Protects Rapists
  • Pro-choice = No-choice
  • End the War on Preborn Children
  • Women Regret Abortion
  • Equal Rights for Preborn People

OR

Draw 3,500 baby feet or hearts and chalk “Abortion Stops 3,500 Hearts Every Day

Some tips:

  • Don’t get discouraged if your “artwork” is scuffed or washed off by haters – that means they saw it
  • Place messages at different angles and perspectives so foot traffic from every direction will catch a glimpse
  • Keep the messages short and succinct; you only have a brief moment to get your point across – make it count
  • Use bright or pastel colors like pink, blue, white and yellow

Contact Students for Life of America immediately if you face any opposition from your school while chalking. You have rights!

 

Vandalism at Clemson University

The latest in a string of vandalism of pro-life displays this week, Clemson Students for Life’s Cemetery of the Innocents was completely destroyed and vandals left behind pro-choice signs and criticized the group on social media.clemson1

The display consisted of over 100 small crosses in the ground and a banner for the pro-life group. All of the crosses were taken out of the ground and piled up with signs such as “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” next to it.

One particular sign saw an immediate backlash on social media: “Tragedy – 4 students vs. 4 million babies.” That sign referenced the deaths of four Clemson students this semester. The pro-life student group had nothing to do with that sign even though they were accused of writing it:

“This fourth sign is in no way connected to Students for Life,” Clemson’s SFL president Devin Gibson told Campus Reform. “We believe that all life is sacred, from conception until natural death, and to trivialize the deaths of four classmates is horrific. We would never use the deaths of fellow Clemson students to further our cause”.

The vandalism is a blatant act of violation of the pro-life students’ free speech rights. They had prior approval of Clemson University to put up the display. They filed a police report yesterday.

Earlier this week, a pro-life chalking display was vandalized at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and this semester has seen a slew of abortion advocates destroying pro-life messages on campus.

Vandalism: “Life begins at ejaculation”

Vandals struck Oakland University Students for Life’s pro-life chalking display at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Sayings such as “Life begins at ejaculation” and a giant “NO” after the words “Just give me a chance Momma” were written on the students’ pro-life chalkings.
ejaculation
Instead of having a thoughtful, civil discussion with the pro-life groups, those who opposed the pro-life message used ridiculous slogans and hateful speech to ruin the chalking display.  Here is the account from the pro-life students themselves:

Last night, a small group of students gathered on Oakland University’s campus to chalk positive pro-life messages. While chalking, we were confronted by multiple angry students who were very vocal about their stance on abortion. One student walked up to us and said, “We need to get the pro-choice group out here to stop this.” A student that was chalking with us heard another student say, “I would stop and argue with these idiots but I know that I would win.” Overall, we felt a lot of hostility from students in response to our very peaceful messages. Early this morning, a member of our group discovered some graffiti drawn on our chalk messages. This is the second time this semester that our messages have been vandalized, not including a display that was torn down earlier this semester. Our voices our being heard on campus. Students know who we are, and this has caused a lot of tension. We are unsure of who is doing the graffiti, and there is currently no active pro-choice group on campus. Regardless, we will continue to spread our message on campus and respond with love to those who fight back.

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time vandals have struck pro-life displays on campus this semester. At Portland State University, campus police were called when vandals destroyed part of the Planned Parenthood Project display. At Eastern Michigan University, vandals drew swastikas on the pro-life chalkings on campus.

 

Pro-life Clothesline Ripped down at Northern Kentucky University

A pro-life clothesline was ripped down at Northern Kentucky University within 24 hours of being set-up. Sarah Piron, President of NKU Right to Life student group on campus said this: “Ridiculous! Not even a full 24 hours up, and someone has already ripped down the pro-life clothesline display on campus. So much for tolerance, huh?”

Northern Kentucky University has had a long history of vandalism against pro-life displays. The first year that NKU Right to Life formed on campus, in 2006 a professor and 6 students were charged with vandalizing a pro-life “Cemetery of the Innocents.” Every year since then, this one included, a pro-life display has been destroyed.

“When will the pro-aborts learn self-control? When will the mainstream media report on this?” asks Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America. “We are the ones constantly portrayed in the media as crazed lunatics. Interestingly enough it is the advocates of abortion – which is a violent act against an innocent human person – who are the ones constantly vandalizing pro-life displays. I am so thankful for the students at Northern Kentucky University who continue to brave these elements year after year in their efforts to peaceably and lawfully bring the pro-life message to their campus.”

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