Vandals have hampered the efforts of five anonymous Law School students who distributed leaflets this week encouraging students to request a refund for the portion of their health service fee used to pay for abortions.
Attached to the leaflets were refund applications to be returned to the University Health Services (UHS) or to a box at the Law School.
"When we came to pick up the forms in the box on Thursday, we found that the box and the forms had been destroyed," one of the five students, who asked not to be identified, said yesterday. "We replaced the box and found on Friday that the same thing had happened. Obscenities were written all over the place," he added.
Mary D. Upton. dean of students at the Law School, said yesterday. "I think the destruction is entirely out of order."
Upton refused to comment on the leaflets themselves. "Students at the Law School have been more political in recent months," she said, adding that "organizations on issues like the right to life and El Salvador have been created right and left."
One law school student who said he knew the vandals but asked not to be identified said yesterday. "While I am pro abortion and thus disagree with the purpose of the leaflet. I find the vandalism abhorrent. Disagreement does not call for violence."
UHS has partially financed abortions since 1976, but the health service provides refunds for students who express moral objections to sharing the abortions' cost.
The amount of the refund fluctuates from year to year; this year, it is $1.60. Ellen S. Weiss, a UHS official said yesterday.
A similar leaflet was distributed at the Business School last year, and no incidents of vandalism were reported.
The UHS refused to reveal the number of students who responded to either leaflet.
"Even though the statement concerning the refund is in the health service booklet. I doubt that most students have read it," Nancy Ryan, assistant to the director of UHS said yesterday. "I wonder, though, if the students responding really have strong moral objections or if they are just signing their names to a piece of paper," she added.
The five students distributed the leaflet after a month of conflict at the Law School concerning the right to abortion, one of the students said.
"Lots of pro-abortion articles appeared in the law school paper. The opposing view was never expressed. We felt the students had a right to know that not only was part of their health service fee going toward the funding of abortions but also that they could do something about it if they objected," he added.