The University of San Diego will not say if any students who shouted obscenities and displayed vulgar signs during a recent pro-choice demonstration on the Catholic college’s campus will be disciplined.
The students were protesting a talk by a pro-life speaker hosted by a student College Republicans club.
“The protest got absolutely out of control, and it was an embarrassment for the university,” senior Jack Uribe, the club’s secretary, told CNA.
Prior to the Nov. 11 event, an administrator informed the club that the pro-choice demonstration was supposed to be a “silent event” held at the Plaza de San Diego, a screenshot of an email shows.
Instead, dozens of students assembled outside Maher Hall, adjacent to the plaza, where pro-life speaker Kristen Hawkins was giving a talk. Demonstrators held signs that said, “Thank God for abortion,” “Hoes before embryos,” and “Public Cervix announcement, F— You,” and shouted obscenities.
A video clip Uribe shot during the demonstration captured one female protester using a bull horn shouting, “You can’t dictate what we do with our “f——- bodies.”
Uribe said the demonstrators also chanted a sexually explicit insult at an 84-year-old deacon and his wife as they were leaving the event.
The protest was organized by the Gender Equity and Sex Positive Collective. The group is not affiliated with the University of San Diego but is run by students at the school. The group did not respond to CNA’s email requesting comment on Dec. 6.
The university issued a statement to CNA on Nov. 24 about the incident.
“The event was focused on an issue of significant import that continues to be discussed and debated in our country and within our campus community,” the statement said.
“A university is exactly the kind of place where such discussion and debate should occur. As a Catholic institution, the University of San Diego supports Pro-Life tenets. As an academic institution, we also support the rights of students of all viewpoints to peacefully assemble for the purpose of exercising free speech or dissension,” the statement said.
The invited speaker, Kristan Hawkins, president of the national pro-life organization Students for Life of America, went ahead with her speech. She also attempted to engage protesters in discussion outside the auditorium.
Hawkins told CNA that the USD opposition is not the first time she has experienced hostility at one of her events.
“We’ve had staff who have been struck, items stolen, signs defaced and even set on fire inside of school buildings, and even a bomb scare,” Hawkins said. “While we always hope for a real conversation, we often meet harsh opposition. But we believe in using our free speech rights and will not be stopped from passionately advocating for the preborn, whose humanity is being ignored in abortion.”
Full story at Catholic World Report.