University of Texas students woke up to find their pro-life demonstration missing and, later, vandalized. 

Late Tuesday night, UT Austin students in the Young Conservatives of Texas set up a “Memorial for the Innocent,” planting 1,000 pink flags in the south mall lawn, each flag representing about 800 babies aborted, with over 800,000 aborted each year in the United States.

The students set up the memorial at 11 p.m., hoping the flags would not be taken down. 

“Students seeing the memorial was of the utmost importance, at the very least as evidence that a pro-life movement existed on campus that was willing to stand up to the secular narratives of modern academia and culture,” said Co-Vice Chairman Samuel Samson. 

Although the flags were planted in the middle of the night, they had disappeared by the next morning. Samson expressed his disappointment, saying, “Since few saw the memorial in daylight, dialogue was prevented even before it could materialize, confirming the political left’s modus operandi: Freedom for me, not for thee.”

The University of Texas has clarified that all students have a right to voice their opinions within that area. A statement to The Texas Horn stated, “Outdoor areas are open to the public, [and] free speech activities such as demonstration, don’t require University approval.”

After a day of wondering what happened to the memorial, the answer was revealed on Wednesday evening. One Twitter user captured a picture of the flags dumped in a pile on the South Lawn, in front of the newly vandalized memorial poster. 

The poster that once read, “Memorial for the Innocent,” was covered with foul language and leftist slogans including, “My body, my choice,” and “#BLM.” The newly scribbled writing about race did not address the statistic included on the back of the sign, which stated, “54% of abortions in the USA are POC” (people of color). The sign also instructed people to “take a flag.”

Conservative displays being taken down on college campuses is not a new occurrence. In fact, YCT pro-life displays have previously been taken down at the University of North Texas and Sam Houston State University.  

“Time and time again, peaceful displays on college campuses in support of conservative policies are destroyed,” said Young Conservatives of Texas statewide Executive Director Manfred Wendt. “College administrators need to assert institutional control and protect free speech for all members of the collegiate community.”

Amanda Taylor, treasurer of YCT-UT, explained that she and other members are still saddened by what happened. 

“There is more than one view on abortion, and our voice should be heard. And others around us should know that they are not alone in their views,” said Taylor.

The chairman of YCT-UT, Jordan Clements, said he is looking into filing charges.

Ariana Silva

Ariana Silva is a 4th-year student at UT Austin where she is majoring in Radio, Television, and Film. She is Vice Chairman for UT’s Young Conservative’s of Texas Chapter and a Director at Texas Scorecard.