Reports of assaults, vandalism and other harassment against pro-life advocates are increasing rapidly this week, the latest being vandalism and theft of pro-life signs at Indiana University.
The pro-life group Created Equal said the vandalism occurred earlier this week as its team conducted a pro-life outreach at the Bloomington, Indiana campus.
A video of the incident shows a man, allegedly an Indiana University student, stealing several of the pro-life groups signs and putting them in a car. A few seconds later, a pro-life advocate identified as Samuel Riley approaches and removes the signs from the car. Then, a second man, allegedly a university official, offers to close the first man’s car door before he drives away.
Later, the video shows the first man returning and spray-painting several other signs while yelling profanities at the pro-lifers. The pro-lifers call the police, and the end of the video appears to show the police apprehending the man.
“Perhaps more disturbing than the student’s actions was the failure of IU administration officials on site to intervene,” said Mark Harrington, president and founder of the pro-life group.
Harrington said the university assigned officials to watch the site where they were doing their pro-life outreach. He said these officials were present when the student stole their signs.
“Samuel had to call police and chase the perpetrator himself because of the administration’s failure to intervene,” he said.
Harrington said they expect the student will be charged and are waiting on local law enforcement to release an official police report.
He also asked pro-lifers to call the president of Indiana University and ask him to apologize for his administration’s failure to intervene in the situation.
Earlier Wednesday, LifeNews reported another assault on a pro-life advocate in Toronto, Canada – the second reported in less than two weeks. The incident, which was captured on video, shows a woman shoving and throwing things at Katie Somers, a pro-life advocate with Toronto Against Abortion.
Earlier this month, a pro-life advocate with Campaign Life Coalition also reported being assaulted, allegedly by abortion activist Jordan Hunt, during a different pro-life rally Sept. 30 in Toronto. Police said Hunt turned himself in after a video of the assault went viral.
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LifeNews has reported about dozens of threats, vandalism and other violence in the past year. These range from threats against prominent pro-life politicians like U.S. Reps. Chris Smith, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Steve Scalise to a Missouri sidewalk counselor who had a gun pointed at him.
In September, a popular conservative blogger was under police protection after she received rape and death threats because of a pro-life tweet. In June, a Florida man who volunteers at Planned Parenthood was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill pro-life U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s children. Then in August, someone threatened to rape and kill the family of a pro-life advocate with Operation Rescue.
This week, Students for Life of America also reported a spate of vandalism, including posters being torn down at Woodson High School in Virginia, signs and flags being stolen at University of Nebraska-Omaha, and posters being torn down at Robert Morris University and Kutztown University.
Action: Contact Indiana University President Michael McRobbie (812-855-4613, firstname.lastname@example.org). Ask the administration to apologize for failing to intervene and defend the rights of peaceful pro-life demonstrators.