Marquette pro-life display vandalized 3 times

Posted at 9:46 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 23:32:15-04

A student display set up on Marquette University was vandalized three times in two days. The university is looking into who's behind it.

A pro-life group says for at least a half dozen years it has set up a display on campus that it says remembers those lost through abortion - this is the first time someone has defaced the display.

Marquette for Life puts up a "Memorial for the Unborn" on campus every year. That includes 1,200 blue and pink flags. They went in Wednesday night. By Thursday, it was defaced the first time.

"There were signs put up over the top of our banner for the memorial," said Anna DeMeuse, vice president of Marquette for Life.

There were also coat hangers scattered around for unsafe abortion practices. A few hours later, the display was hit again.

"Thursday night, all the flags, we had 1,200 flags, were all removed from the ground and taken down and more signs were put over," said DeMeuse.

DeMeuse says their group spent the night walking the lawn putting all the flags back. But by Friday morning, the memorial had been defaced a third time.

There were signs over their own saying "my body, my freedom," and "68,000 women die of unsafe abortions annually."

Some call it a counter-protest.

"I feel like it's a controversial campus right now so people just want to stir up discussions," said Savannah Brush, a senior at Marquette.

"I guess it's really frustrating, people just need to respect other people's views on things," said Sydney Stein, a sophomore.

But the university's vice president of student affairs, Dr. Xavier A. Cole, had some strong words for whoever was behind the signs and coat hangers.

"Let me be extremely clear. Defacement is not dialogue. Respectful discussion and even dissent is best done face to face," said Dr. Cole in a statement.

The Marquette for Life group says they are disappointed that someone with differing opinions decided to ruin their display.

"Our mission in all this was to create some dialogue that was respectful and mature at a collegiate level which we didn't see," said DeMeuse.

The university is calling the incident vandalism, saying whoever did it caused about $30 in damage.