Ohio State University is coming under heavy criticism today for ignoring a threat an abortion activist made against a pro-life student after she published an article exposing the high percentage of abortions on black babies.
Madison Gesiotto wrote an article that appeared in The Washington Times, titled “The number one killer of black Americans.”
“You won’t believe what the number one killer of black Americans is. It isn’t heart disease, it isn’t cancer, it isn’t homicide and it isn’t motor vehicle accidents,” Gesiotto wrote.
“In fact, the number one killer of black Americans is abortion. Despite a lack of reporting by California, New Hampshire and Maryland, a total of 730,322 abortions were reported to the CDC in 2011, the most recently published reporting year,” she explained. “405,994 of these reported abortions included cross-classified race/ethnicity data for 2011, of which 146,856 were reported to be black American abortions, equaling about 36 percent of the total number of abortions with reported race statistics.”
But the backlash from one abortion activist on campus was life-threatening, as the Times reports:
The threat arrived on Ms. Gesiotto’s Facebook page as part of a heated back-and-forth shortly after the appearance of her column, which cited figures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that black women received 36 percent of reported abortions in 2011.
The Facebook message said, “The government cannot take action against you for your offensive and racist article. But your colleagues can.”
Ms. Gesiotto, 23, said she became “extremely nervous” after reading the post, not knowing whether the threat referred to physical harm. The message came from another OSU law school student, but not one she knew.
“What bothered me is that I don’t know who this person is, I don’t know what type of action they were talking about,” said Ms. Gesiotto. “I just wanted the school to make sure it wasn’t anything physically dangerous to me.”
But when Gesiotto set up a meeting with Ohio State University officials, they dismissed her concerns.
“This is my freedom of speech, but they kept going on and on about how, ‘This is a flawed article, it’s not a good legal piece, it’s not a good journalistic piece, either,'” Ms. Gesiotto recalled. “They asked me to explain to them why I would put that [line] in, what that means, and how I should have followed that up by saying other things to support these black women.”
A second-year law student who writes the Millennial Mindset column for The Washington Times online opinion pages, Ms. Gesiotto said she tried repeatedly to steer the conversation back to the threat made against her, but that the deans appeared to “blow it off.”
“I’m a very tough person. I very rarely get upset or sensitive about things,” said Ms. Gesiotto. “But I was crying in that meeting for about 30 minutes, I was so shocked. I’ve never been in a situation with people I respected and looked up to and felt so violated.”
Dean Alan C. Michaels released a statement to the newspaper saying Ohio State takes any threat against a student seriously and declined to divulge any more information. But their response was also quite bizzare:
The deans also urged her to remove from her online biography her position as a staff editor of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, she said, saying it would confuse those who might think she was a faculty member and not a student.
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They recommended that she participate in a “facilitated discussion” with students who disagreed with the op-ed. She refused.
The entire ordeal has created an atmosphere at Ohio State whereby the former Miss Ohio USA who competed in the 2014 Miss USA pageant is now hearing that she is dropping out or rumors that Ohio State is kicking her off campus — and the backlash from pro-abortion people on campus has created a difficult learning environment for her.
Ohio Right to Life told LifeNews in response that Ohio State University has botched the handling of the threats and failed to look out for Gesiotto.
“It is offensive and alarming that a public university would brush off a female student’s safety concerns just because she expressed pro-life views,” Ohio RTL president Mike Gonidakis told LifeNews. “This is yet another black eye for Ohio State as well as protecting female students and free speech. The terrible message the liberal faculty is sending to students and their parents is ugly. Tuition paying parents need to know that University officials apparently do not care about their children’s safety if they happen to have pro-life beliefs.”
“Ohio Right to Life is demanding a meeting with University President Michael Drake to ensure that Maddison is safe on campus and that she can freely express her pro-life beliefs without any fears of bullying and retaliation,” he added.