On April 12, 2017, members of Students for Life at Washington State University set up a pro-life display on the lawn between Holland library and another building. The display included 300 crosses, each cross representing 10 children killed through abortion each day in the United States. A pro-abortion student was caught on film removing that display.
“I walked down through the grass and turned,” Keaton Aspell told The Daily Evergreen. “Then I saw the signs and my jaw dropped. […] I was like, ‘this is disgusting’. I don’t think it creates any type of unity. I think it just causes divisiveness and they are just pushing their religious agenda and it really made me angry.”
He ripped the crosses out of the ground and took the sign explaining the display and threw it away. Then he took to social media to share what he had done. Students for Life members returned to set the display back up.
Trisha Mallett, president of Students for Life at WSU, said that the crosses were not meant to make a religious statement but to represent a cemetery.
Aspell came back to the display and began to remove the crosses again.
“I called the police when the angry student came back and claimed that he had taken them down the first time and was angry that he had to take them down again,” Nicole Manzione, a member of Students for Life, told The Daily Evergreen. “We tried to have a good conversation with him, calm and civil, and he just kept taking them down no matter what we said.”
Another pro-abortion student said that the display was “harmful” and that if she were a post-abortive woman she “would have been heartbroken” by the crosses.
The truth is that it isn’t the display that causes the heartbreak and anger. It is abortion itself. Now that no one can deny that abortion ends a human life, it is becoming harder for people to hold back their emotions concerning abortion. Post-abortion syndrome is affecting women and men who have suffered through an abortion.
Brian Shuffield, executive director of WSU Office of Student Involvement said the pro-life display was approved ahead of time, and President Kirk Schulz released a statement saying that “WSU cherishes freedom of expression on its campuses.”