Pro-Life Students Heckled During Abortion Protest Day, Michigan Sees Issues

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 25, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Students Heckled During Abortion Protest Day, Michigan Sees Issues Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 25,
2007

Jackson, MI (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life students faced insults, attacks and harassment across the country as 4,000 schools participated in the annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. The event is a silent witness to teens and college students to remind them of how abortion destroys the lives of babies before birth and hurts women.

But despite the attacks they faced, pro-life students report they were excited to take part in the annual event.

“Before I thought it’d be so hard and everyone would make fun of me,” a student named Lindsey wrote on the sponsoring group’s web site, “but about 15-20 decided to join me and told me they felt the same way.”

Another student named Josh said "People also started joining in during the day as they found about it from the fliers."

Bryan Kemper the founder and director of Stand True Ministries said traffic to the group’s web site was so high during the day that it had to temporarily shut down, according to the Christian Post.

A participant named Carolyn said she was heckled by friends who said they support abortion and she couldn’t break her vow of silene to respond — something she said frustrated her.

"[I]t just makes me want to weep to think of things my generation thinks [are] okay," said Carolyn.

Other students ran into more official problems from their schools and students in Michigan are surprised by a pro-abortion law firm coming to their aid.

Students at Concord Middle School in Jackson, Michigan found out from school officials that they couldn’t take part in the national abortion protest because they wanted to avoid disrupting classes.

"It’s a public school system,” eight-grade student Lauren Rosenau told the Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper. "We should be able to express ourselves and who we are.”

Concord Superintendent Robert "Jay” Bada told the newspaper that outside political groups are not allowed on campus, even though only Concord students would be participating.

"If we allow one, we have to allow all of them,” he said.

But, surprisingly, Michael J. Steinberg, the legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, says the students were right.

"The Supreme Court made it clear that school officials cannot censor student speech because it’s controversial,” Steinberg said. "School is a place for the exchange of ideas.”

He said that the school can’t stop the students from exercising their free speech rights unless it feels that violence could result from it.

"Certainly outside the classroom, students have a clear constitutional right to express themselves through symbolism,” Steinberg said.