Students for Life notes ‘epidemic of vandalization’ of student free speech on college campuses
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2018 (Students for Life of America) – Students for Life of America (SFLA) released a newly updated map of violations of pro-life student speech, noting the “epidemic of vandalizations of peaceful, pro-life speech” on a map outlining more than 75 confirmed events on more than 60 campuses since 2012.
“This Halloween, what’s scary is how often student free speech is blocked by those who use the power of school government and the mob to silence their peers,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins.
“The crisis of incivility is impacting our colleges and universities that were once places to learn about other’s points of view and to grapple with the most important issues of our day. But in recent years, intolerance is the new normal, and Students for Life of America leaders are enduring increasing and violent push back to their peaceful conversations on campus,” said Hawkins. “Pro-choice students are reflecting the mob mentality and indecency they see on social media and hear about from national figures as they attack those who do not champion abortion.”
Recent vandalizations of SFLA activities include destroyed and stolen fliers for an event at Southern Methodist University, where Hawkins was speaking. Other recent attacks include: pro-life posters being torn down at Woodson High School in Virginia; signs and flags being stolen at University of Nebraska-Omaha; chalkings destroyed at Xavier University; signs stolen from St. Louis University’s Students for Life display; and pro-life posters being torn down at Robert Morris University and Kutztown University.
“Pro-abortion advocates are so fearful of a life-affirming, pro-life message they consistently attempt to hide the truth from women about the help that is there for them and horrors of abortion,” said Hawkins. In fact, pro-abortion advocates recently banned pro-life students from a public event in Ohio, refusing to allow a woman with a known pro-life point of view in the room with former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
“No matter the obstacles, Students for Life team members will stand for the #ProLifeGeneration against those who would rather see an infant’s life ended in the womb than advocate for policies to help mothers and their preborn children,” said Hawkins.
“The silver lining in all this for pro-life advocates is the resolve of courageous students who refuse to be silenced and who are learning how to engage effectively and lovingly even in hostile environments,” Hawkins said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the nine common violations of student free speech. “Far from being snowflakes, this generation is more pro-life than their parents, and they are willing to do the hard work of defending women and their preborn children no matter the obstacles.”
On Tuesday, SFLA Communications Director Matt Lamb wrote about recent visits to Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where jokes were made about killing elected officials and some said abortion through all nine months was acceptable.
“Luckily, the majority of college students are pro-life, but I’m still a bit worried,” he wrote. “As a resident of Fredericksburg, I now know for certain that there are people, in my neighborhood, like this guy who said personality determines when life begins, or the girl who YELLED AT ME for being 1. A man 2. Pro-life.”
“I think I’ll be looking over my shoulder a bit more in Fredericksburg just in case my personality isn’t good enough to give me human rights that day,” Lamb said.