Each fall and spring, a 40 Days for Life Campaign takes place in cities across America. During this campaign, pro-life advocates visit the sidewalks outside of abortion facilities, either to engage in sidewalk advocacy or simply provide a loving presence. Many pro-life students who participate bring sidewalk chalk and write compassionate messages for expecting mothers to see. This is exactly what pro-life students in Portland, Oregon did this month – only to be met with hatred and a stifling of their free speech.
David, a student with Clark College Students for Life, shared:
“We had set up our signs along the sidewalk and we had most of the sidewalk covered with chalk pictures. We were working at one end of the sidewalk when we noticed a young woman using a milk jug filled with water to erase several of our drawings. She then started to tear some of our signs in half and she grabbed several more. I immediately started walking towards her because she seemed distressed. She muttered something like, “Women know they have other options” and a few expletives. I asked her if she needed help, and she responded by throwing one of our boxes of chalk into the street and went to her car with our signs.”
This story is unfortunately one of many instances of pro-choice strangers feeling they have the right to vandalize the belongings of pro-life advocates. Our response is the same in every case – the behavior is bad and unacceptable, and pro-life advocates would never do it a reverse situation. That said, if something like this ever happens to you, keep in mind that many who lash out with violence or hatred are often hurting from abortion themselves. The response from us should be bold, but compassionate.
Reach out to your SFLA Regional Coordinator for help if you are facing vandalism, censorship, or other discrimination due to your pro-life beliefs or actions by emailing [yourstate]@studentsforlife.org.