Pro-Life Students Kicked Out of Austin YMCA Following Pro-Abort Protests

Joe Schoffstall | July 10, 2013 | 1:15pm EDT
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A group of young pro-life advocates were kicked out of a YMCA in Austin, Texas after pro-abortion supporters complained about the group being there, Students for Life of America (SFLA) said in a press release today.

SFLA students were ejected from the club due to pressure from pro-abortion supporters, SFLA's Alexa Coombs says in the e-mail. SFLA had worked out an agreement with the associate branch director of the Town Lake branch of the Austin YMCA to use their showers during their week in Texas on their "Students #Stand4Life Bus Tour." Some members of the YMCA said it was "too political" to have pro-lifers use the showers and pressured management to give the students the boot.

"We took a 30 hour bus ride from DC on Sunday with 50 plus students from around the country. We've been relying on the kindness of others - staying in church basements, volunteers donating food - and we had set up with the local YMCA to use their showers between 9-10 pm every night right before they closed," said Coombs.

She continues: "After the first night, with no incidents, they said we couldn't come back because pro-abortion people who were at the YMCA complained that it was too political that we were allowed to use the gym and apparently the staff felt so threatened that the Y told us we couldn't come back! "

Brendan O'Morchoe, Director of Field Operations with SFLA, said they had no problems before the complaints rolled in.

"We had absolutely no problems on Monday night when we used their facilities. The YMCA management was respectful, but some angry pro-abortion activists were being very aggressive with YMCA staff members and the staff said they felt threatened."

"Unfortunately, the anger and rage from the pro-abortion protestors has created a toxic environment even outside the Capitol Building.  It's really a shame that the YMCA was bullied by these people, it just goes to show how pro-aborts operate every day."

"The YMCA has a long history of helping young people and always had an open door policy to everyone, yet we were turned away because of our pro-life beliefs. The YMCA rescinded their offer to help because of the complaints of a few people on one side of the abortion issue and we were discriminated against based on our political position."

The students were left scrambling. According to Coombs, they finally found a place to shower at 11 pm last night thanks to a Catholic High School thirty minutes outside of Austin.

A call to the Austin YMCA was not returned by the time of this post.

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