Pro-Life Clemson Students Experience Targeted Harassment on Campus


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

As President of my campus chapter of the Network of Enlightened Women and Vice President of our campus pro-life group, I am no stranger to sharing my conservative beliefs on my college campus. While I’m never surprised when I am the target of hate because of my views, I have never feared for my physical safety because of my beliefs, until now.

Over the past few weeks, our pro-life group at Clemson University, Tigers for Life, has been the target of hateful attacks, harassment, and threats of violence from students on our college campus. What crime did we commit to draw such vicious resistance? Attempting to host a speaker that they don’t like. 

We have been planning an event with Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, since June of this year as part of her “Make Abortion Illegal Again” tour. Since we announced the event in October, abortion advocates have done everything they can in an attempt to shut the event down. 

While tabling on campus to advertise for the event, our members have been subject to verbal harassment, as other students walking by shout things such as, “I’m sorry you hate women, what made you feel that way?” This was, ironically, screamed at a group made exclusively of women. We have also been the subject of many posts on the anonymous social media platform Yik Yak, including, “F*** the make abortion illegal again people,” and simply “Someone go harass the pro-lifers.” 

However, verbal and online harassment has escalated to threats of physical violence. Students have threatened us, saying things like, “You better shut all this down before we come at you.” We decided that these threats were serious enough that we needed to call campus police, who sent an officer that helped us to file a harassment report. 

While verbal harassment is common while we table on campus, we have never been physically threatened on campus. Our chapter president, Alivia Grace Talley, was subjected to threats of violence when a stranger passing her on the street said, “I want to smash your face into the concrete.” This was especially concerning, as we have no idea who that student was- or how many other students know our faces well enough that they recognize us walking around campus. 

We received countless clearly scripted emails complaining about the ticket price of $5, demanding for us to remove the “price barrier” for the event. After these complaints, a generous donor decided to cover a portion of ticket sales so that some students could attend for free. When we announced this, protestors immediately began mass reserving hundreds of tickets in an attempt to prevent those who actually want to attend the event from doing so. Our Eventbrite account, the platform we are using to sell tickets to the event, was also hacked, and these same students were able to reserve hundreds more fraudulent tickets and delete the ones reserved by attendees.  

We have been informed that a group of student organizations who oppose the event are planning a “Reproductive Rights Rally” outside our venue at the same time as our event. They say they will be hosting speakers to speak on “Abortion 101.” While we fully support their right to free speech and to hold any event they choose, we are disappointed that instead of taking us up on our offer to come inside and engage in civil discussion on this important issue, they instead are choosing to stand outside and likely threaten and harass anyone who dares to attend this event. While we hope they won’t become violent against us, our members, or our attendees, given the events that have already occurred on campus in response to this event, we have had to prepare for a situation where the protestors do in fact become aggressive. 

Despite this all, Tigers for Life will not cave to harassment, discrimination, or threats. We firmly believe in the importance of hosting this event with Kristan Hawkins in order to further this significant discussion on campus, and the fierce resistance only cements our determination to speak the truth about abortion, no matter what consequences we may face.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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