by Steven Ertelt
March 7, 2006
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates at Harvard University are coming under fire for infringing on the free speech rights of the campus pro-life group by tearing down and defacing pro-life posters depicting an unborn child and describing facts about a developing baby before birth.
The posters feature an unborn baby girl that Harvard Right to Life has nicknamed Elena. The current set of posters displayed on campus is the second in a series the pro-life student group is using to increase respect for the unborn.
“The posters from this semester are getting torn down left and right,” HRL President Meghan Grizzle, told the Harvard Crimson student newspaper.
“Apparently people find the picture of a fetus gruesome and I don’t understand why, because we’re not showing pictures of an aborted fetus or a dead baby,” Grizzle said.
She indicated the student group is having to replace posters at numerous displays around campus where they have been subject to vandalism or destroyed entirely.
Harvard students have engaged in a fierce debate about the posters after pro-life student Ndidi Menkiti asked abortion advocates to stop the vandalism in a post on a campus online discussion group, according to a Crimson report.
“I had seen some posters ripped up and thrown on the ground on the first floor of Cabot,” said Menkiti. “I felt it was an immature way to react when you disagree with someone.”
A professor finally had to step in to moderate the debate after some abortion advocates defended the vandalism.
Harvard University spokesman Bob Mitchell told Cybercast News Service he was not aware of the controversy surrounding the posters and did not know if the Harvard Right to Life had contacted university officials about the problem.
Grizzle told CNS News that Harvard administrators are "not necessarily on our side but they understand that we have the right to do this." She said she had contacted officials, who have told her they can do nothing because they have no idea who is tearing down the posters.
Surprisingly, more controversial posted the group ran last semester — depicting an African American woman and discussing how abortions cause more deaths to black Americans than AIDS and heart disease — were not town down in the same numbers.
The timing of the posters may have to do with the amount of vandalism.
The posters are displayed at a time when South Dakota has approved a ban on abortions and three key Supreme Court cases on abortion have been prominent in the news.