UCSB Professor Accused of Assaulting Anti-Abortion Activist
An anti-abortion ministry known for its aggressive and controversial outreach work is pursuing criminal charges against a UC Santa Barbara professor, who allegedly stole one of its banners, assaulted one of its members, then helped destroy the banner during a confrontation on campus last Tuesday. The UCSB police department is investigating the incident.
According to 21-year-old Joan Short — a student at Thomas Aquinas College and a member of the Christian pro-life group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust — she, her 16-year-old sister Thrin, and 11 other Survivors had set up three large signs in an area of campus heavy with foot traffic called the Arbor. The banners, along with literature the activists handed out, displayed graphic imagery of late-term abortions that Joan said was intended to “begin conversations” with passing students.
Joan said that at around 11 a.m., Dr. Mireille Miller-Young — an associate professor with UCSB’s Feminist Studies Department — approached the demonstration site and exchanged heated words with the group, taking issue with their pro-life proselytizing and use of disturbing photographs. Joan claimed Miller-Young, accompanied by a few of her students, led the gathering crowd in a chant of “Tear down the sign! Tear down the sign!” before grabbing one of the banners and walking with it across campus.
Here’s a follow-up story in which the prof justifies her actions:
In the report, Miller-Young, who is pregnant, said she was “triggered” by the graphic images of aborted fetuses on the large posters and said she felt the demonstrators didn’t have a right to be on the university’s campus, because their messages were upsetting to her and students. When asked by police if there had been a struggle between her and the activists when she took the poster, Miller-Young responded, “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.”
Gee, I’m sure lots of things “trigger” lots of folks. Most of us manage to control ourselves.