by Steven Ertelt
January 20, 2005
Redding, CA (LifeNews.com) — Two displays put up by pro-life advocates to mourn the 32nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized unlimited abortion have been vandalized.
In California, four men were arrested with vandalizing a cross display meant to memorialize the number of unborn children killed each year. The overturned 3,000 crosses put up by pro-life advocates from various churches in Redding.
" They tore them out of the ground. They threw some of them over the fence and onto the freeway," Steve Fitch, project coordinator for the Christian Life Center, told the Associated Press.
A pager led to the arrest of the four young men, all aged 19 or 20. They were booked on suspicion of felony vandalism and misdemeanor civil rights violations.
Police sargent Roger Moore said they were charged with hate crimes because any interference with civil rights based on religion is illegal.
"It is a hate crime. Anytime you infringe on people’s civil rights, it’s a hate crime," Moore told AP.
In Pennsylvania, a cross display erected by the Catholic Student Association appears to have been the subject of vandalism.
Ten members of the group put up the crosses to note the number of unborn children who have been killed via abortion and a sign explaining their significance on Sunday. By Monday they were all knocked down.
Meghan Kasun told The Penn newspaper that the goal of the memorial was to "raise awareness … that Roe v. Wade has had such an impact on our country.
"We’re not condemning those who’ve had abortions, but we respect all life," she said.
Kasun said her group expected opposition to and criticism of their display, which she said was a tasteful way of opposing abortion. "We’re respecting lives and opinions with a peaceful demonstration … we’re not bombing clinics or being violent because that’s not part of our respect for life."
She indicated she fixed the display Monday night and that it would be up for one week after the Roe v. Wade anniversary on Saturday.
LeeAnn Harden, president of Students Advocating Gender Equality, a pro-abortion group on campus, condemned the vandalism.
Harden noted that she "respect[s] the expression of their ideals" and explained that the vandalism "makes me angry to see someone tear down that representation as much as if they tear down my own."