Pro-life advocates in Natchez, Mississippi are the latest victims in a growing string of vandalism and violence targeting those who fight to save unborn babies from abortion.
Sometime between Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning, someone destroyed a pro-life display on the Natchez Bluff in remembrance of the millions of babies who have been killed in abortions since Roe v. Wade, according to the Natchez Democrat.
Ruth Powers of Caring Hearts Pregnancy Resource Center said members of the Saint Mary Basilica Catholic Youth Organization and the Knights of Columbus set up the display Sunday afternoon; it includes 98 crosses representing approximately 98 unborn babies who are aborted every hour in America.
On Monday morning, someone noticed that the display had been vandalized and notified them, Powers said. She said she then contacted local authorities.
“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and it always makes me angry and sad when it does happen. Why can’t we just choose to disagree without resorting to this kind of behavior?” she said.
About 20 of the crosses were pulled out of the ground and broken into little pieces, and signs were torn apart, Powers continued.
She told the local news that they had a permit from the city to erect the display, and the Knights of Columbus replaced the broken crosses later Monday.
The Rev. Bo Swilley, of the Community Chapel Church of God, told the newspaper that the purpose of their outreach is prayer and love.
“We’re there to pray for the unborn and for women who’ve made the decision to abort their children, that they’ll understand that there is forgiveness for everything,” Swilley said. “I pray that those who are pregnant and are thinking about abortion realize that there are other options.”
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He lamented that society is drifting away from rational discussion about abortion.
“Nowadays it seems like people can’t disagree without being ugly to each other,” the pastor said. “… I want everyone to come to the knowledge of Christ and understand what that cross represents. That cross is not hate. That cross is love.”
The Mississippi community is not alone. LifeNews.com recorded more than 100 reports of assault, vandalism, harassment and other incidents targeting pro-life advocates in 2019. Our news outlet began tracking these reports after pro-life organizations expressed alarm about an uptick in violence in recent years.
The most egregious incidents included a pro-life banner being set on fire inside a college building in Washington state, a bomb threat at a 40 Days for Life event, multiple assaults of elderly pro-lifers that led to hospitalization, and an elected official publicly bullying young teenage girls and then posting a video of it on the internet.