Two pro-life displays were vandalized this week in a growing trend of hostility against pro-life advocates.
One occurred during a pro-life outreach Monday at San Antonio College in Texas. The other happened Thursday after a pro-life student club at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa set up a display at their school.
The Iowa students’ display was made of small hearts and the message “157 hearts are taken by abortion every hour in the U.S.” It also had information about Students for Life of America as well as stickers saying “Adoption Saves Lives.”
On Thursday, the students discovered that someone had vandalized the display by covering up their messages with black paper and staples.
Mark Torneten, president of the student group, said the intolerance really upset him.
“I was upset by the lack of respect for another opinion this individual or individuals had, and our group wants the administration to make clear it’s not okay to vandalize anything you don’t agree with,” Torneten said in a statement.
Love of Truth Ministries also was a victim of vandalism. On Monday, the Christian pro-life group posted a video on its Facebook page showing abortion activists harassing them and vandalizing their display at San Antonio College in Texas. The group’s mission is to speak “the truth in love” about abortion.
The video shows several angry people yelling profanities at the group, one throwing water at a pro-lifer and another spray-painting signs with photos of unborn and aborted babies.
“We filed a report with the police and plan on pressing charges. Please pray for justice,” the ministry said.
Last month, abortion activists also vandalized pro-life displays at Bellarmine University in Kentucky and the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Police later arrested a student in connection with the vandalism in Virginia.
Responding to the Iowa vandalism, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said: “The attack is another example of the hostility to free-speech on high school campuses. This is why we started tracking vandalizations against pro-life displays. Nevertheless, pro-life students will not let this stop them from their pro-life work. We stand with the Students for Life group at Lewis Central High School and we demand the high school take swift action to investigate the matter.”
Pro-life advocates increasingly have become targets of vandalism, threats and harassment.
In December, a 15-year-old girl was punched in the face and knocked to the ground by an abortion activist outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Roanoke, Virginia. The assault was captured on video.
In two separate incidents last year, men also allegedly threatened to kill pro-life advocates outside abortion facilities in California and Florida. In February 2017, violent threats against a California pro-life leader prompted him to cancel a pro-life rally, LifeNews reported.
In the fall, vandals also destroyed pro-life student displays at Northern Kentucky University and St. Louis University. Campus Reform reported two other instances of vandalism in one week: one at the University of Florida and another at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
Students for Life documented at least 40 incidents of vandalism alone in the past five years against its pro-life students groups. An interactive map displays the places where its clubs have been victims of vandalism.
“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.