Pro-life advocates are facing a rash of vandalism, threats and other harassment this fall.
The latest happened Tuesday at a church in Lansing, Michigan where a pastor said someone pulled up a display of white crosses that represent babies lost to abortion.
The Lansing State Journal reports the vandalism happened sometime Tuesday at Faith Bible Church in Lansing.
The Rev. Gene Harris told the news outlet that his congregation set up the 600-cross display earlier this fall, along with a sign that reads “Pray to end abortion.” He said each cross represents 44 Michigan babies who were aborted in 2016.
Harris said he noticed the vandalism Tuesday evening when he came back to the church after dinner. According to news reports, some of the crosses were pulled up and others were broken.
“They were carefully and reverently placed, and it’s sad that someone would desecrate the cross of Christ,” Harris said. “We’re not sure if someone specifically wanted to target the pro-life message or if it was just a random act of vandalism.”
The local sheriff is investigating.
The list of vandalism and harassment against pro-life advocates has been expanding rapidly this year.
Students for Life documented at least 40 incidents of vandalism alone in the past five years against its pro-life students groups. A new interactive map displays the places where its clubs have been victims of vandalism.
This fall, vandals destroyed pro-life student displays at both Northern Kentucky University and St. Louis University. Campus Reform reported two other instances of vandalism just this week: one at the University of Florida and another at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
A few weeks ago, a professor at San Jose University also allegedly threatened to “ beat the s— out of” pro-life students who were protesting on the California campus. A university spokeswoman said they are investigating.
“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. Yet another was vandalized at Fresno State University in California in May, allegedly by a professor.
In June, someone stole a pro-life trailer from Arkansas Right to Life that displayed how many unborn babies die in abortions each year.