Vandals destroyed a pro-life student display at Northern Kentucky University twice this week, adding to the growing reports of vandalism and threats against pro-lifers this year.
The Church Militant reports the campus Students for Life group set up the pro-life cross display Sunday afternoon, but by Sunday night, vandals already had destroyed it. Then, the vandalism occurred again early Wednesday morning.
WKYT reports some of the crosses were pulled out of the ground, damaged or stolen, and a large sign that went along with the display also was stolen.
On Wednesday, university police released security video footage of the vandalism as it was occurring earlier that day. The video shows a young woman in a sweatshirt and sweatpants pulling up the crosses around 1:50 a.m. Police asked anyone with information to contact them at (859) 572-5500.
On Sunday, students with Northern Right to Life set up 300 small crosses on campus and a sign explaining that each cross represents 10 babies who die in abortions every day.
Group president Maria Walker said their annual pro-life display has been vandalized six times in the past 11 years.
“This act of vandalism is pretty on par with destruction we have had to our displays in the past. So, I am not surprised about that aspect,” Walker told the Church Militant. “What I am surprised about is other students voicing their support for the vandals on social media and congratulating them for committing a crime and suppressing the First Amendment rights of other students.”
Their group also helped to host a free speech rally Wednesday on campus.
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Pro-life group member Sebastian Torres said they hope someone with information about the vandalism will contact police.
“I think they were destroyed because students or faculty did not agree with the pro-life message of wanting to save children from abortion,” Torres said. “Unfortunately, instead of publicly debating us, they broke the law and destroyed private property.”
The Kentucky student group is not alone. Earlier this month, vandals at St. Louis University, a Catholic university in St. Louis, Missouri, destroyed a similar display set up by pro-life students.
South Carolina Citizens for Life also had its sign vandalized earlier this month. Someone spray painted over the sign and wrote profanities on it, group leader Holly Gatling told LifeNews.
Then, over the weekend, pro-life advocates in Dallas, Texas called a bomb squad after they found a suspicious package near their 40 Days for Life site. WFAA News 8 reports the Dallas Police Department later determined that the suspicious package was a hoax, quite possibly meant to scare pro-life advocates who peacefully pray outside a nearby abortion clinic.
Pro-lifers increasingly have become targets of vandalism, threats and harassment.
In two separate incidents this year, two men allegedly threatened to kill pro-life advocates outside abortion facilities in California and Florida. And in early February, violent threats against a California pro-life leader prompted him to cancel a pro-life rally, LifeNews reported.
Students for Life reported several of their college pro-life clubs had displays vandalized by pro-abortion students this fall.
In March, a pro-life student display at the University of Colorado at Boulder was vandalized, and another one was vandalized in April at Texas State University. And in June, someone stole a pro-life trailer from Arkansas Right to Life that displayed how many unborn babies die in abortions each year.