October opened with yet another example of abortion advocates vandalizing positive pro-life messages and showing their intolerance for free speech. This time, pro-life students at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas were chalking messages about abortion in the free speech-designated zone when this happened – as told by Clare Finley, co-president of UNLV Students for Life (more photos are below):
Tonight we chalked in the “free speech zone” on campus. We did nineteen hearts, each representing 3 million children for the total 57 million aborted since 1973. When we were done chalking, a girl stormed out of a building (which houses the Women’s Center) and started taking pictures of our work.
At that moment we were discussing our club with an interested gentleman.
She got on her phone and started loudly ranting, including how she wanted to “barf all over [our chalk messages]”, etc. We didn’t expect opposition SO soon after drawing our messages!
After the gentleman left, she walked back towards the building. As we were leaving I politely offered her a business card, but she just put up her hand and told me to “get away from her”. (Why say no to a business card?! That way you can try and get us in trouble although I’m not sure for what).
I went to go work out, and when I came back our work was already completely vandalized.
Apparently respect and civility are not a two way street. This sort of behavior is initially shocking; however, this is the same person who is ok with killing unborn children, denies the truth, and our right to free speech.
We are VERY curious as to why we have never heard about these 47,000 women in America who die from “unsafe abortions” every year. We would love to know her source. On that note, there is no such thing as safe abortion. Someone always dies. I guess this sort of embarrassment is what happens when you swallow lies and wake up on the wrong side of the bed one too many times.
P.S. Chica, chalk away. We cannot stop you, will not stop you, and will not ruin your work. Because we believe in being decent people- who don’t vandalize the work of others.
Today, Clare followed up with an email to the Women’s Center:
Hi Ms. Hernandez, and Ms. Gray,
My name is Clare Finley. I am writing to you on behalf of UNLV Students for Life over which I co-preside with Mikaela Clark. Students for Life is a nationally based, nonprofit, and pro-life organization. Our chapter is brand new this semester. A brief overview of some of our work/mission includes working with local nonprofits to help mothers in need, and to raise awareness on our position on the issues of abortion, the death penalty, and valuing human life in general. We are not religiously affiliated and do not discriminate based on sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, social beliefs, age, or ability.
I understand that the majority of the young ladies at Jean Nidetch tend to not be on same side of the aisle as UNLV Students for Life on the practice of abortion. We absolutely respect this; in fact, we were hoping to propose working together with Jean Nidetch in areas where can find common ground: diapers drives, fundraising for a women’s home here, collecting food for the homeless population etc. Two incentives of this unity would be the diversifying of the Center in regards to the ratio of pro-life to pro-choice persuaded ladies, and showing that despite our very different beliefs, we can civilly and cooperatively work together for the good of others. After our first experience with the a center employee last night, I am now doubting the feasibility of this goal.
On the evening of September 30th, Mikaela and I were chalking in the free speech zone near the Students Services Complex and the Central Desert Complex. Our chalking was in memory of the 57 million unborn lives lost to abortion since 1973, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton. It was late at night; however, pro-life, pro-choice, and unsure students still came up and engaged us in very mutually civil, respectful, and constructive discourse. While Mikaela and I were speaking with a curious gentleman, Holly Ramella, a JN CARE Advocate came out of the Student Services Complex, immediately walking straight to our chalking, taking pictures, and then made a phone call. She was very angry. I overheard her say she wanted to “barf all over it”. This didn’t upset or surprise me, abortion is a controversial topic and people are absolutely free to say whatever they wish. That is why the specific free speech zone is a great area; for example, while we do not support or agree with the provider Planned Parenthood, UNLV Students for Life 100% respected their right to express their message in the free speech zone for their #PinkOut day. We expect our fellow students to show that same level of basic human respect and civility despite differences in belief. When we had finished talking with the gentleman, Holly walked back towards the building, still on the phone. As we were leaving, I very politely offered her a club business card. She wouldn’t look at me- instead, she put up her hand and asked that I get away from her. Mikaela asked why she was mad (our message is true, according to the Guttmacher Institute and the CDC). Holly replied that it was not true. I went to go work out for about an hour. When I was walking back by our work, I saw that there was nobody around and our chalking was completely vandalized. Our message was destroyed, replaced with a pro-abortion message. I was upset for a couple of minutes. We had spent over an hour on our chalking in an area of free expression. I suspected it was someone involved with SURJ or even JN Center. Looking these pages up, it took me about five minutes to find Holly’s public Instagram where she had posted a photo of her vandalizing our free speech chalking message immediately after we left. (I have attached photos). Her message included:
“When anti-choices write all over the free speech area about how many babies have been aborted… chalk wars begin. I spent 20 minutes writing over their numbers with some numbers I think they should know. Like the fact that 47 thousand women die every year due to unsafe abortions and 21.6 million women have experienced an unsafe abortion. As a student who has friends that have had abortions, I can’t stand idly by while their shames for their choices. I will always stand by a woman’s right to choose and I will always participate in a chalk on chalk battle.”
While vandalism is never justifiable, it seems that Holly decided upon several reasons to justify her infringement on our free speech via cowardly vandalization. As a woman, I am extremely perturbed that a CARE Advocate from Jean Nidetch shamelessly advertised her rude, immature, intolerant, and inappropriate attitude and actions. Rather than civilly speak with us, she made very distasteful comments and subsequently distasteful actions.
There are several points I would like to make on her message: We are all about choice, except for the choice of abortion. Holly said our numbers were not true. They are correct. We are curious as to why we have never heard about the fact 47,000 women are dying from “unsafe” abortions every day. The context of our chalking was clearly within America. Perhaps Holly is referring to India, China, or Russia? We would love to know her sources. I too have friends who have had abortions, and they do not feel shamed by our chalking message (which does not call shame on women). It troubles me that Holly mentioned “chalk wars” and a “chalk on chalk battle”. This is a free speech zone, not a war zone. We are more than welcoming to her chalking (this particular free speech zone is plenty big and we all have equal access and rights to it); however, we will not stand for vandalism. We will not, can not, and should not stop or vandalize other’s chalking simply on the basis of our disagreement.
The fact of the matter is, none of Holly’s message can justify vandalizing our work. That she flaunted this message in proudly justifying her vandalism of our work is very unfortunate.
I truly hope that her incredibly rude behavior, lack of tolerance, immaturity, and pride in vandalizing our free speech message does not accurately reflect the standards of character that Jean Nidetch Women’s Center promotes, especially among their CARE advocates.