Vandals Damage Pro-Life Cross Display at Wichita, Kansas Abortion Business

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 19, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vandals Damage Pro-Life Cross Display at Wichita, Kansas Abortion Business

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
July 19, 2004

Wichita, KS ( — Vandals damaged a pro-life display outside a late-term abortion center in Wichita, Kansas this week, prompting new concerns about harassment and violence aimed at those who oppose abortion.

Authorities say two men in their 20s broke 149 white crosses in front of the Women’s Health Care Services abortion facility. The abortion center has received nationwide attention because it offers abortions to women in the late stages of pregnancy.

The display had been erected by the Kansas Coalition for Life to symbolize the death toll from late-term abortions. The white painted crosses were valued at $1,000.

According to the group, each day the Wichita abortion facility is open for business, volunteers place 164 crosses on city property adjacent to the building. Under an agreement reached with the city of Wichita and the local police department, the crosses must be "attended" at all times.

An elderly woman, MaryAnn Cravens, was the cross attendant at the time the vandals struck.

"The vandals not only uprooted the crosses, but they broke each one in half, and gave MaryAnn cause for concern for her physical safety," the Kansas Coalition for Life said.

The vandals managed to get away before police arrived on the scene.

A police officer was able to obtain the license tag number of the vandals’ vehicle by viewing security camera footage of the abortion facility. An investigation is now underway.

In a written statement, the chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, Mark Gietzen, said, "As deplorable as the violence to the crosses was, it is nothing in comparison to the violence that the late-term babies undergo inside of the abortion facility, as they are being killed and incinerated, after being stripped of salable body parts."

Gietzen added, "The recent beheading of American hostages in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, something that many people cannot bear to look at on TV, is physically and morally equivalent to what happens in every late-term abortion."

The Wichita vandalism is just the latest instance of property damage directed at property owned by pro-life advocates.

Earlier this year, an abortion advocate spray-painted the word "Nazis" on a statue at a Catholic church in Johnston, Rhode Island. And in Florida, hundreds of crosses in a pro-life display at a St. Augustine church were destroyed.

And just this month, two crisis pregnancy centers in Maryland were vandalized in what appeared to be an act of issue-related hate crime.

Related web sites:
Kansas Coalition for Life –