An individual rallied with students about his beliefs and religious ideologies at the library quad on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. This incident started after Project Truth, an anti-abortion group, was on campus. (Julie Blunt)
An individual rallied with students about his beliefs and religious ideologies at the library quad on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. This incident started after Project Truth, an anti-abortion group, was on campus.

Julie Blunt

BREAKING: Pro-choice and religious protests break out in library quad

Enraged students confront individuals who preach religious ideologies

February 13, 2023

Tensions rose as pro-life group Project Truth and religious organizations clashed with student protestors in the Sacramento State library quad Monday.

Project Truth displayed alleged photos of aborted fetuses with a “graphic photos” warning posted on the north entrance to the quad.

Crowds of Sac State students gathered as the situation escalated. Members of the crowd shouted back and forth, “shut-up, shut-up, shut-up,” in response to the religious preachers. 

“A couple of different groups decided to be on campus today, a pro-abortion and anti-abortion group,”  Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills said. “And then this group was just preaching, those two groups are not affiliated, but they showed up today.” 

The photos and interactions from Project Truth sparked reactions from passers-by, causing a group of students to craft counter-signs displaying messages such as “My body, my choice.”

Story continues below Instagram post.

Campus police were called to the scene and the anti-abortion organization left soon after. Once they dispersed, tensions grew as separate religious individuals continued preaching across the quad.

“Most of the crowd, I think, came to rally against the anti-abortion group, but then came over to confront the gentleman here, who’s not affiliated with that group,” Mills said. “I don’t know what else to say about that. They both decided to come on the same day.”

Police moved the crowd from the walkway onto the quad grass, where the shouting continued.

The gathered students counter-protested the individuals who shouted their pro-life and Christian beliefs. The group of individuals preaching religious ideologies would not give their names to reporters.

At one point, a student snatched a bible out of one of the religious individual’s hands during a heated exchange and threw it across the quad. 

Story continues below tweet.

“I am conflicted,” said ASI president Salma Pacheco. “The reason why is we are a public institution and therefore people will come to our campus and will share their views on situations.”

While she appreciates and understands students expressing their opinions, Pacheco said she is concerned for campus safety.  

“I love that our students feel that they can voice their opinions… but it’s really difficult when it gets into a crowd like this because safety becomes a problem,” Pacheco said. “Like, that person can get a ticket because they removed his property and they’re damaging his property.” 

The arrival and presence of the Sac State police department played a role in de-escalating the situation, according to third-year Biological Sciences major Jay Hilario.

“If there were no authority, people would definitely have tried to attack the person right now and vice versa,” Hilario said. 

Sac State Police Lt. Harvey Woo said this was two different groups. He also said it’s important to uphold free speech on campus. 

“So they are here to talk about their beliefs and then students have their views,” Woo said. “So we’re just here to make sure that everybody’s peaceful and everybody’s okay.”

Sac State student Kalia Person said she felt the conflict further escalated the situation. 

“I feel like at the end of the day, everyone does have a choice,” Person said. “At this point, it’s just everyone’s standing around being entertained.” 

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About the Writers
Photo of Julie Blunt
Julie Blunt, social media editor
Julie Blunt is working as the social media editor for their second semester at The State Hornet. They are also the author of a weekly column, "Diary of a Bookworm" and co-hosts an LGBTQ+ podcast called "Shamelessly Relevant" with co-editor Elena Burge. In the future, they hope to work for a publishing company as a part of an editorial team or to travel as a freelance journalist.

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Madelaine Church, Social Media Staffer

Madelaine Church is in her last semester attending Sacramento State and is expecting to graduate in May. This is her fourth semester at The State Hornet and will be a social media reporter. Madelaine has experience with photography, news writing, press releases, videography, social media marketing and other forms of content creation. This summer, Madelaine had the opportunity to work as a photojournalist intern for The Observer. Madelaine hopes to continue covering arts and entertainment in the future.

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Emma Hall, news editor
Emma is the news editor for The State Hornet. Previously she was the inaugural diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) editor and newsletter editor. She also led The Inquirer at Diablo Valley College and has worked with The Advocate at Contra Costa College, and The CalMatters College Journalism Network. Alongside the Hornet, Emma serves as NPR's Diverse Sources intern.

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Tony Rodriguez, editor-in-chief

Tony Rodriguez is a fourth-year journalism major in his second semester as editor-in-chief of The State Hornet. Rodriguez has spent four semesters with the publication and has served in editorial positions with The State Hornet and on his community college publication, The Express. He hopes to continue his education after graduating from Sacramento State and pursue a Master of Arts in Journalism. Rodriguez hopes to work in media production or as a reporter focused on arts and culture.

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Chris Woodard, Managing Editor
Chris Woodard joined The State Hornet in 2022 as a third-year transfer student. He previously worked as the editor-in-chief of Cosumnes River College’s publication, The Connection. He is a Sacramento native and hopes to cover arts & entertainment after graduating in the spring of 2024.


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