Oxford, Ohio, Nov 16, 2018 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A pro-life display at an Ohio university has been vandalized three times since it was erected Monday by the school’s pro-life organization.
Students for Life America at Miami University’s Oxford campus had constructed a Cemetery of Innocents – a memorial which stood with white crosses and several pro-life signs.
Set up on Nov. 12, the memorial was a reminder of the gravity of abortion in the U.S. One of the signs read “Each Cross Represents 10 Babies who Die by Abortion Each Day” and another sign advertised Project Rachel, a healing ministry for women after an abortion.
Students of the university are believed to have participated in the vandalism, which began on Monday night when the sign explaining the crosses’ significance was knocked down. The other sign was reportedly stolen.
President of Students for Life, Ellie Wittman, told the Miami Student that the group reported the act to the Miami University Police Department shortly after it happened.
“We can’t say we didn’t expect the vandalism, but we would hope our fellow students would respect our right to free speech,” she said.
The display was then vandalized again on Tuesday, but this time the crosses were also pulled from the ground and thrown into recycling bins. After it was reported to campus police again, the display was then torn down about an hour and a half later.
A pro-abortion banner was also hung Tuesday night near the Cemetery of Innocents. The Miami Student reported that the sign read “Each Cross Represents 10 Women who Made One of the Hardest Decisions of Their Lives.”
The individual or group behind the vandalism has not yet been identified. However, the university’s Dean of Students Kimberly Moore said the school condemned the act.
“Such destructive behavior is not acceptable in our community and we must all join together to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. All Miami University students and student organizations have the right to free speech,” she said in a public announcement, according to the Catholic Telegraph.
Sarah Wilhem, social chair of the university’s Students for Life chapter, was disappointed over the vandalism. She expressed hope for more respectful dialogue in the future, the Catholic Telegraph reported.
“Students for Life had hoped for a more civil response that sparked conversation. Instead our display was vandalized multiple times which does not align with Miami’s values and is completely unacceptable. I hope that in the future our community can have a more constructive dialogue,” she said.