Abortion activists at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, erased a number of pro-life chalk etchings, alleging that they are hurtful and could cause harm to others.
A number of students erased the pro-life messages on June 7 because they didn’t like that other students were leaving pro-life content on the university campus, according to a Students For Life (SFL) press release Wednesday. “Is your plan to erase all of our messages?” a Western Washington SFL member asked another student who was throwing water on the messages and scraping them off the ground.
“Just the really shitty ones,” the student responded, according to a YouTube video posted Thursday by the student group. The students used cones filled with water from the university fountain to erase the chalk.
“Which messages do you have a problem with?” the pro-life student asked the activist.
“I mean mostly we’re going for the ones that are like actively hurtful,” the activist responded. “Writing anti-choice shit all over” is harmful, the activist said, failing to acknowledge that the messages were pulled from groups like “Silent No More” that attempts to provide support to women who have had abortions.
After the chalk had been completely erased, the university’s Students For Life group rewrote the messages, which lasted only overnight until the university ordered maintenance crews to wash away the chalkings on the morning of June 8. When SFL asked the university why the chalk had been erased, a university staffer told the students that it only washes away “provocative” writing and hate speech, the press release stated. (RELATED: Pro-Life Flags Torn Out Of Ground At The College Of New Jersey [VIDEO])
The university made no public statements, however, Western Washington’s Club Activities Coordinator Jennifer Cook did apologize to SFL in an email and claimed there was miscommunication. The maintenance staff misinterpreted instructions and the school supports SFL’s right to chalk pro-life messages on the ground, Cook said, according to the press release. “We might also work with you if it were specifically triggering but even that would not be asked to be washed away,” she said.
“Students for Life at Western Washington should have the same free-speech rights as any other student group on campus,” Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said in a statement. “The fact that pro-life messages about supporting women who were post-abortive or promoting adoption is considered too controversial by pro-choice students on campus is disheartening and indicative of the bias against pro-lifers in higher education.”
Western Washington’s SFL president also condemned the action and urged the university to take steps to resolve the situation. “The university should strongly condemn this vandalism and should work to find the students involved and ensure they face punishment for what they did,” the university’s SFL President Karlie Lodjic also said in a Wednesday statement.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the university but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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