A staffer at the Women’s Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas has been caught bragging on Instagram that she defaced a pro-life memorial in a University free speech zone.
Claire Finley, co-president of UNLV Students for Life, described the incident in a posting on the national Students for Life website:
Tonight we chalked in the “free speech zone” on campus. We did nineteen hearts, each representing 3 million children for the total 57 million aborted since 1973. When we were done chalking, a girl stormed out of a building (which houses the Women’s Center) and started taking pictures of our work.
At that moment we were discussing our club with an interested gentleman.
She got on her phone and started loudly ranting, including how she wanted to “barf all over [our chalk messages]”, etc. We didn’t expect opposition SO soon after drawing our messages!
After the gentleman left, she walked back towards the building. As we were leaving I politely offered her a business card, but she just put up her hand and told me to “get away from her”. (Why say no to a business card?! That way you can try and get us in trouble although I’m not sure for what).
I went to go work out, and when I came back our work was already completely vandalized.
Apparently respect and civility are not a two way street.
Shortly after completing the memorial, Finley returned to discover that her anti-abortion display had been defaced with abortion-rights slogans and rhetoric. After doing a little research, she was able to identify the culprit as UNLV Women’s Center “care advocate” Holly Ramella, the woman who had previously ranted about the display, who posted the following justification on Instagram:
When anti-choices write all over the free speech area about how many babies have been aborted… chalk wars begin. I spent 20 minutes writing over their numbers with some numbers I think they should know. Like the fact that 47 thousand women die every year due to unsafe abortions and 21.6 million women have experienced an unsafe abortion. As a student who has friends that have had abortions, I can’t stand idly by while their shames for their choices. I will always stand by a woman’s right to choose and I will always participate in a chalk on chalk battle.
Apparently realizing that it was unwise to brag about vandalism, Ramella subsequently deleted the post and made her Instagram account private, but Finley of Students for Life had already taken a screenshot.
Finley wrote to the UNLV Women’s Center to protest Ramella’s conduct:
Abortion is a controversial topic and people are absolutely free to say whatever they wish. That is why the specific free speech zone is a great area; for example, while we do not support or agree with the provider Planned Parenthood, UNLV Students for Life 100% respected their right to express their message in the free speech zone for their #PinkOut day. We expect our fellow students to show that same level of basic human respect and civility despite differences in belief.
So far it appears that Ramella will face no consequences for her actions, despite her open violation of UNLV's free speech zone.