Vandals Destroy Pro-Life Display at College of William & Mary

College of William & Mary / Facebook


A group of students at the College of William & Mary set up a pro-life display Sunday night to recognize the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, but vandals destroyed the display before it saw the light of morning.

Eight of the ten students who set up the display are members of William & Mary Law School’s Advocates for Life, and they obtained official approval for their display before it was vandalized, according to group president Katherine Beck. The display included 3,000 popsicle sticks embedded in the ground to symbolize the approximately 2,500 abortions that have occurred each day in the United States since 1973 when Roe declared a constitutional right to abortion. Surrounding those sticks were four signs with pro-life messages.

Beck told National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis that the signs and the popsicle sticks were removed by morning.

"We found most of the signs torn up in the closest trash can," Beck said. "There were a couple [popsicle sticks] on the ground and one broken in half, but other than that they were gone."

One of the signs explained the display's purpose, while others bore pro-life statements such as "Love Saves Lives."

Beck added that William & Mary’s administration has been supportive of the group’s right to express its views. The law school dean directed the group to contact campus police, which is now investigating the incident.

Beck led a weekend event on abortion and feminism with law school students, and she said the conversation was "respectful." She speculated it might be that undergraduate students were responsible for the vandalism since the display was in a part of the undergraduate campus, the Sunken Gardens.

"I have heard that the undergrad campus is incredibly aggressive, and that would make sense why the display was torn down," Beck said.

Police are reviewing videotape of the incident, but they have not yet identified the culprits. Beck believes this was the first pro-life display ever erected on the college’s campus.

Advocates for Life members are now planning a new display that will be "even larger."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at

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