abortion

Just when you thought race-based excuses couldn’t get more ridiculous, here’s yet another tidbit about University of California, Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young.

As The College Fix has reported, back in March Miller-Young and some pals approached a couple of anti-abortion protesters. Eventually, the prof snatched away one of their displays and then got into an altercation with the younger of the protesters, which left scratches on the latter’s arm.

Last month, the feminist studies professor pleaded no contest to “misdemeanor counts of battery, theft and vandalism.” But now, several of her colleagues have offered up a … “unique” defense of sorts: the “cultural legacy of slavery.”  The Daily Caller reports:

UCSB history professor Paul Spikard charged in his letter to Judge Hill that Miller-Young has been the victim of “an energetic smear campaign that seems to have little to do with her person or her actions, and a great deal to do with fomenting racial hatred and rallying right-wing political sentiment.”

“It would be tragic if Dr. Miller-Young were sentenced to jail time or mandatory anger management classes based on the press’ portrayal of her as an Angry Black Woman,” Spikard wrote.

“She was at the stage of a pregnancy when one is not fully one’s self fully, so the image of a severed fetus appeared threatening,” (fellow UCSB feminist studies professor Eileen) Boris wrote, according to Fox News.

“If she appears smiling on camera, she is ‘wearing the mask,’ that is, she is hiding her actual state through a strategy of self-presentation that is a cultural legacy of slavery.”

Read the full story here.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

{ 3 comments }

For anyone surprised that Jesuit universities had once covered all abortions in their insurance plans: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that an insurance policy approved by the state two years ago is getting a second look from the administration of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University told faculty and staff they would stop covering “elective” abortions – those that aren’t medically necessary – because it violates their commitments as Catholic universities. The schools are affiliated with but not controlled by the Catholic Church.

Though the Department of Managed Health Care approved the Kaiser Permanente policy excluding “voluntary termination of pregnancy” from coverage in 2012, activists including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood are now calling on the state to deem all abortions “medically necessary” so they must be covered by insurance.

The schools appear to employ many faculty who don’t care a whit for their religious identity:

“It’s something we had not heard of before,” said Stephen Diamond, a law professor who resigned from his scholar’s position at Santa Clara’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethicsin protest of the center’s support of the policy change. “I was one of hundreds of faculty members objecting,” he said. …

“That it was even up for debate was a complete shock to most of the people I know on campus,” said Anna Muraco, an associate professor of sociology and member of the faculty Senate at Loyola Marymount. “What it’s doing is to institutionalize discrimination.” …

“Other faculty members have told me they’re no longer comfortable in this environment,” said Diamond, the Santa Clara law professor. Universities, he said, are supposed to be places of “shared governance,” where teachers are consulted and take part in decision-making.

Read the full article, which gives short shrift to supportive voices at the schools, here.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Ted Abbott/Flickr

{ 0 comments }

OPINION: Republicans can capture this demographic if they hold back on social issues

The Democratic Party no longer has an undeniable hold on millennial voters, with an increasing number shifting toward the right side of the political spectrum, according to a report issued by Pew Research Center.

A newly identified subset of young voters are now “skeptical of activist government,” and a “substantial majority” of this subset “view government as wasteful and inefficient,” according to the study, Beyond Red v. Blue: The Political Typology, released on June 26.

This group of fiscally conservative, small-government advocates is classified as “young outsiders” by the study, among eight political typology groups that include “steadfast conservatives,” “solid liberals” and “politically disengaged bystanders.”

While young outsiders aren’t entirely comprised of millennial voters, Pew says the category is collectively the youngest of all typology groups, with 30 percent under 30 and most under 50.

The findings of the study complicate the view of millennials from a mere two years ago, when many voters now classified as young outsiders supported the reelection of President Barack Obama.

Sixty-seven percent of voters ages 18 to 29 cast their ballots for Obama, to 30 percent for former Gov. Mitt Romney. Voters 30-44 years old supported Obama 52 percent to 45 percent in support of Romney.

The cause of the rightward shift? Take your pick from a long list of grievances: out-of-control government spending, the soaring costs of higher education, government corruption, staggering unemployment and the uncertain job market, among many other issues.

One of the topic issues in the typology study is entitlement and welfare spending.

As compared to 48 percent of the general public, 86 percent of young outsiders believe that “government aid to the poor does more harm than good,” said the report. Further, 76 percent of young outsiders believe the government cannot afford to further assist those in need.

Government over-involvement is another issue of top concern, with 66 percent of young outsiders indicating that they feel the government is doing too much to resolve the country’s issues and problems.

While millennials’ viewpoints on government spending and the scope of federal power are shifting toward the right, the demographic holds mostly liberal opinions on social issues, including environmental protection regulations and controversial social policies.

Young outsiders feel that society should accept homosexuality (78 percent) compared to 62 percent of the general population. The group favors the legalization of marijuana (67 percent), and 58 percent believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Yet despite their general resistance to government spending, 68 percent of young outsiders believe that the costs of stricter environmental laws and regulations are worthwhile.

Curiously, young outsiders veer back to the right on the gun-control debate, with 63 percent stating that protecting the right to own firearms is important.

Despite mostly socially liberal viewpoints, Pew predicts young outsiders will still lean Republican when comes to casting a ballot, although the category does not favorably view either political party. This bodes well for the GOP in the approaching midterm elections, but only if they understand the opportunity the party is afforded by this realignment of youth political philosophies.

studentsforliberty.sflThe GOP needs the young outsider demographic almost as much as the group wants stringent, fiscally conservative leaders and representatives, presenting an opportunity for a mutually beneficial relationship that has the potential for a very large return.

Republicans have an opportunity to demonstrate that they are not just the party of stodgy old white men, but also appeal to a vast array of demographics in age and gender.

Young outsiders are largely comprised of two demographic groups that could vastly contribute to improving the GOP’s image problem – youth and women. Women comprise 52 percent of young outsiders, according to the report.

However, there is a large difference between ideological agreement and actual ballots being cast for conservative candidates on Election Day.

The best plan of attack for the GOP is to leave social issues for another day and focus on appealing to young voters with decisive, realistic plans for resolving the financial problems facing our country.

Jobs, the economy, deregulation, entitlement reform and legislation that lowers the cost of college tuition – not combating the social culture war of our elders – are the issues that this demographic wants to hear about.

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: European Parliament/Flick, Students for Liberty

{ 1 comment }

OPINION

Boise State University was sued recently for requiring prolife students to use warning signs when they protest abortion on campus with graphic images of aborted babies.

You know the ones – they are not easy to look at. They are real photos of murdered children, and they look like just that: blood, dismembered parts, lifeless faces.

Why would we use such images? We do so because those horrific photos so many prolifers use, including myself, are effective.

Women going into clinics have stopped in their tracks upon seeing the images and changed their minds. Many have later told pro-life workers that the disturbing pictures portraying the truth about abortion were the sole thing that convinced them to turn around and have their babies.

I have heard the argument (from people on both sides) that the graphic pictures are counterproductive because they make people angry at us and harden them even more.

Certainly, they make many people furious. One time a young college student even came up to my group and started crying and yelling at us, claiming that she had been raped and had had an abortion.

Many have heard of the feminist studies professor at UC Santa Barbara who stormed off with a teenage prolifer’s sign last semester. I was among that group of prolife protesters on campus that day, and we dared to hold graphic signs showing what abortion is, causing the professor to throw herself into, literally, a rage.

It is not the photos that upset them, though (after all, it is not a baby, remember?).

The hard truth of abortion thrust in front of them is what sets people off. The photos do not harden people against the pro-life cause; they only give them a run for their money…and deeply unsettle them.

That said, I do think that whenever possible children and post-abortive women should be spared seeing the images.

I am part of an independent group that operates similarly to Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, and often we just reach out and talk to women, give them a pamphlet, and tell them about nearby pregnancy centers.

This is a gentler way to approach these women and dispenses with a lot of the stress that inevitably accompanies seeing the pictures. If it works, great. If not, maybe they need to see a bit more.

As far as trigger warnings, if all they accomplish is helping to steel people before they see the photos, the warnings are acceptable. However, they may do more harm than good if they truly ward people off. The ones I have seen have not been particularly effective at deterring people. Do people really have that kind of self-control over their curiosity?

It really comes down to the bottom line that you usually just cannot predict who will happen to see the photos. The bad consequences of NOT shaking people awake in this way are so much scarier than any bad effects that showing the reality of abortion will have on those who are not ready to see it.

That is why the lawsuit against Boise State is important: it is about free speech. It is about our right to tell the truth, hard as that may be.

The suit was filed by the conservative law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which stated in announcing its litigation that “university policies that suppress free speech are completely at odds with what a university is: a marketplace of ideas.”

“Free speech should not be limited to a tiny area on campus, nor should students be told their speech needs a warning sign simply because university officials think their views are ‘controversial.’”

Meanwhile, the law firm points out that “Boise State University has allowed other groups to host events without warning signs, including Planned Parenthood, which distributed condoms on campus, and the Secular Student Alliance, which distributed ‘Does God Exist?’ fliers in open spaces on campus.”

If ruled in favor of Boise State, the suit sets a looming precedent that could lead to more and more restrictions on free speech, especially that which aims to speak an extremely hard truth, as prolifers do.

It’s a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow campus administrators to decide what’s “controversial ” and what’s not, or what is protected free speech and what deserves qualifications.

My peers and I are fighting for the freedom to speak the truth, whether people like it or not. Freedom to be lied to and remain ignorant is not freedom. We are fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.

Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE:  Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust screenshot/Facebook

{ 7 comments }

Guide also warns readers about “misleading” crisis pregnancy centers

The University of Chicago has published what amounts to a how-to guide on getting an abortion, complete with referrals to local abortion providers, links to financial assistance programs and statements that it’s one of the “safest” procedures in America today.

The guide also tacitly warns readers not to trust crisis pregnancy centers, citing an 8-year-old study commissioned by a top Democratic lawmaker that claims the vast majority of centers provide false or misleading information claiming that abortion could “lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’”

Its launch has come under fire by some Illinois pro-life groups. A campus official told The College Fix that while the guide is hosted by the university, it’s not meant for students. Titled “Accessing Abortion in Illinois,” the guide launched on June 6 as a project of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), and the Urban Initiative of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

While the university says it’s a guide for health and social service providers, the information is just as informative for students, providing links to multiple abortion providers in Illinois.

uchicago-abortionguide.screenshot
Area pro-life groups are upset with the university’s decision to collaborate on such a project.

The abortion guide is full of “inaccurate information, hypocrisies, inadequately researched studies, and attempts to dissuade women from seeking all healthcare options available,” Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, said on the group’s website.

Zender criticized the abortion guide for condemning crisis pregnancy centers, which she says provide a valuable service in providing clothing, counseling and pregnancy tests to women in need. There are at least five crisis pregnancy centers in Chicago, and more in the surrounding suburbs.

crisispregnancy.Brianne.FlickrThe guide says crisis pregnancy centers can cause “confusion” just by existing, and that going to such a place “can lead to delays in care for an individual who wants to consider abortion.” It cites a 2006 study commissioned by Rep. Henry Waxman, Democrat of California – at the time ranking member on the House Oversight Committee – that said such centers provide “false and misleading health information” about abortion.

A spokesperson for the university told The College Fix that the guide is not intended for patients, but rather for health and social service providers. Pregnant students, he said, would go to the university’s health center.

The spokesperson also said that despite the guide being hosted on the university’s website and using its logo, it’s actually a Ci3 project.

Lee Hasselbacher, policy coordinator for the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, told The College Fix the guide’s discussion of crisis pregnancy centers “is focused on assisting health and social service providers in offering referrals to abortion providers once a woman has already opted to seek abortion.”

The guide includes resources that providers could find useful in “providing unbiased, non-directive all-options counseling,” but that list “was meant as a starting point,” Hasselbacher said.

Asked what other resources the university makes available to pregnant students, such as adoption services, the university forwarded links to how a student could acquire birth control or emergency contraception.

Jack Nuelle, an executive board member for University of Chicago Students for Life, told The College Fix he does not believe a page presenting life-affirming options for students exists.

Nuelle said the university should clearly outline the options available to pregnant students so they are aware of options other than abortion.

A search of the university’s website for pregnancy resources produces scant results. There are no links to various crisis pregnancy centers in the area, such as the Southside Pregnancy Center in Oak Lawn or Aid for Women, which has locations across Chicago.

The top result is a “fact sheet” produced by the university’s family planning department, which criticizes pregnancy resource centers as being deceptive, misleading and providing inaccurate information.

The University of Chicago is also the only known university in the U.S. to perform abortions on campus.

In February 2013, Campus Reform reported that the university’s Ryan Center was performing abortions on campus. It’s not known how many abortions the Center performs each year.

CORRECTION: This article originally said that a congressional study claimed that crisis pregnancy centers “provide false or misleading information that ‘lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’” The sentence should have read “information claiming that abortion could ‘lead to suicide…’” and has been updated to reflect this correction. 

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: Chris Smith/Flickr, Internet screenshot, Brianne/Flickr

{ 3 comments }

The Obamacare contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a federal judge in Denver ruled in a closely watched case involving Colorado Christian University.

Details from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the school:

In a carefully reasoned opinion, the court ruled that the Health and Human Services Mandate, which would have forced CCU to include drugs like Plan B (the “morning after” pill) and ella (the “week after” pill) in its health care plan, infringes the University’s freedom of religion. The court noted that “[i]f CCU refused to provide health insurance coverage for its employees,” or “did not include the coverages required by the Mandate, CCU would be subject to significant – if not ruinous – financial penalties.” The court then concluded that this pressure on CCU to violate its religious beliefs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The judge granted the school a preliminary injunction, meaning it “has shown a substantial likelihood that it will prevail on its RFRA claim.”

Read the whole article here.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: RoRi630/Wikimedia Commons

{ 1 comment }