A California professor allegedly threatened violence against pro-life students who were peacefully protesting a few weeks ago at San Jose University.
Pro-life advocates increasingly have been facing threats and attacks on their free speech, and this is just one example. This week, Students for Life of America released a new interactive map displaying the places where its clubs have been victims of vandalism in the past five years.
“… I felt that I have to tell you exactly what threats some of our pro-life leaders face on an all-too-often basis,” wrote Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA, in a letter to supporters.
One example Hawkins gave was an online threat against pro-life students on the campus of San Jose University in California.
“… Matthew Kapell, a faculty member who teaches two courses at San Jose State University issued a chilling threat to pro-life students on his personal Facebook page,” Hawkins said. “After seeing pro-lifers on campus holding signs with life-affirming messages, Kapell posted: ‘we should just go find someone to beat the sh– out of.’ Then he joked, ‘who’s gonna bail us out?’”
Coed reports Kapell, a part-time lecturer at the college, posted a photo of the pro-life students on his Facebook page in October along with the allegedly threatening message. The College Fix, which first published an article and screenshot of Kapell’s comments, contacted school administrators to ask if any action would be taken.
University spokeswoman Patricia Harris thanked the news outlet for alerting them to Kapell’s post and confirmed that he is a part-time, temporary employee. Harris promised to look into the matter.
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Kapell has taught at a number of universities including University of Michigan, Swansea University, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University, Coed reports based on Kapell’s personal website.
“I know I’ve talked a lot about the spike in vandalism we’ve seen over the past few years against our pro-life student groups,” Hawkins wrote. “But after seeing this threatening post (along with dozens of others on social media from pro-abortion activists), I’m more afraid than ever that one of these threats of violence will turn into much worse.”
Students for Life documented more than 40 incidents of vandalism alone against its pro-life student groups in the past five years. This fall, vandals destroyed pro-life student displays at both Northern Kentucky University and St. Louis University.
“Other incidences of violence against our group include: Administrators destroying chalkings at Kutztown University, vandals throwing paint on a display at Portland State University, and a display of graduation cords (to highlight ‘missing students’ who were killed by abortion) at University of Miami,” according to Students for Life.
LifeNews also has reported numerous cases of hostility against pro-lifers.
South Carolina Citizens for Life had its sign vandalized earlier this fall. Someone spray painted over the sign and wrote profanities on it, group leader Holly Gatling told LifeNews.
And in late October, 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 also have become targets of threats and harassment. In two separate incidents this year, 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.
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.