by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2007
Highland, Heights, KY (LifeNews.com) — Northern Kentucky University was the focus of national attention last year when a professor there led a group of pro-abortion students in destroying a pro-life campus display. The vandalism resulted in the forced early retirement of the professor and now the pro-life group is pressing on.
In the first major event since last year’s vandalism, the campus pro-life organization is hosting a forum discussion with women who had abortions and now regret their decision.
The goal of the event is to help students understand the physical and mental health problems that can follow an abortion.
"It helps the women who tell their stories and it also lets people know of the aftereffects of an abortion procedure," Katie Walker, president of NKU’s Northern Right to Life, told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Kathy Rutledge, the Kentucky coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a national group that helps post-abortive women speak out, will be one of the featured speakers.
She had an abortion in 1977 when she turned 18 and wishes she could undo the decision.
"It took me 28 years to tell my story," Rutledge, who now has two children, told the newspaper. "I was very ashamed of what I had done and spent my whole life trying to not let others find out."
"Even after all these years, in my heart, my two teens don’t replace that aborted baby," she added. Now I stand as a voice for him (the aborted baby) — that abortion destroys not just the baby, but your heart."
The university received the national spotlight last year following the vandalism and destruction of a display of crosses set up by the campus pro-life group to memorialize those babies who have died from abortions.
Six students joined Sally Jacobsen, a British literature professor in destroying the display. They trashed the crosses and ripped up a sign that accompanied them and their actions were caught on film by a reporter from the student newspaper.
Jacobsen was charged with theft, criminal mischief and criminal solicitation but those charges were dropped after a court demanded that she apologize. Beforehand, she defended her actions and when the vandalism came under scrutiny, she encouraged the students not to talk to police and to get their own attorneys.
The court required Jacobsen to complete a mediation and she agreed to pay Northern Right to Life for the costs of the display. Jacobsen also made a $1,000 donation to the Madonna House, a Northern Kentucky crisis pregnancy shelter.
Jacobsen was suspended by Northern Kentucky University for the remainder of the school year and her classes given to other professors to complete. She has since retired and moved to Portland, Oregon.
The pro-abortion students were sentenced to perform community service in exchange for dropping charges against them. They were required to pay a $100 fine and issue letters of apology.
In September, three students who took part in the vandalism apologized.
The students wrote letters to the editor in the student newspaper expressing their views. Though they say they are sorry for vandalizing the display, at least two of the students wrote that they still believe the cross memorial was inappropriate.
The pro-abortion students who destroyed the pro-life display included: Michelle Cruey, 21, of Walton, KY.; Katie Nelson, 21, and Heather Nelson, 27, both of Dayton, Ky.; Stephanie Horton, 23, of Alexandria, Ky.; Sara Keebler, 25, of Cincinnati, Ohio and Laura Caster, 23, of Highland Heights, Ky.
Related web sites:
Northern Right to Life – https://northernrighttolife.com