A pro-life group has refused to back down after their event was evacuated by a bomb threat, calling the incident just one of “many examples” of violence pro-life advocates face for standing up for the rights of the unborn.
Noah Maldonado, the Minnesota regional coordinator for Students for Life of America (SFLA), was kicking off an event called 40 Days for Life at Rochester Community and Technical College Hill Theatre in Rochester, Minnesota when a young adult dropped a mysterious package in the middle of the room.
After individuals in the audience started smelling ammonia, the building was quickly evacuated by campus security, who notified law enforcement and the fire department. No one was injured in the incident.
According to local station WCSI, Rochester police arrested Samuel Vanderwiel, 19, and charged him with one felony count of terroristic threats with reckless disregard, and misdemeanors; one count of 5th-degree assault; one count of disorderly conduct; and one count of public nuisance.
Following the evacuation, dozens of pro-lifers prayed outside the building and Maldonado finished his speech entitled “Embracing Controversy.”
“It’s disappointing that a pro-choice student finds it appropriate to scare innocent children and families and try to intimidate them from peacefully praying and sidewalk counseling,” Maldonado said, according to Students for Life. “However, it’s not surprising, when we see the climate on high school and college campuses, where speaking tour banners are burned, displays are vandalized, and administrators try to silence students.”
In a statement made available to The Christian Post, the organizers of 40 Days for Life called the incident “one of many examples of the violence many pro-life advocates regularly face as a result of exercising their constitutionally protected free speech and standing up for the rights of the unborn.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett