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abortion

Georgetown University, a Roman Catholic institution, played host to a series of pro-abortion events last week. Here’s a brief excerpt from the description of events:

H*yas for Choice is hosting its seventh annual Choice Week. This year’s theme, “My Choice, My Voice,” is about both women’s right to reproductive choice and free speech on campus.

“My Choice, My Voice” is a nod to the work H*yas for Choice has done this year in regards to the University’s speech and expression policy,” Laura Narefsky (COL ’14), President of H*yas for Choice, told Vox. “This issue has gone quiet in the last few weeks, and we want to remind both students and administrators that we are not done fighting for rights of expression on campus.”

The Catholic church teaches that abortion is an immoral form of killing. Yet last week’s events included various event designed to promote access to abortion and even a free university shuttle ride to a Planned Parenthood rally outside the Supreme Court.

Read more about Georgetown’s “Choice Week” here.

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The College Fix previously reported the attack on a pro-life student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A feminist professor attacked a teenage demonstrator, and the episode was caught on video.

Now, a statement released by UCSB vice-chancellor, Michael D. Young, shortly after the incident, has come to our attention. In the statement, which was released to students on March 19, Young ridicules pro-life demonstrators, calling them “evangelical types,” “self-proclaimed prophets,” and “anti-abortion crusaders.”

The peaceful pro-life demonstrators were subjected to an unprovoked attack by feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young. But the vice chancellor insults the demonstrators as “proselytizers hawking intolerance” and peddlers of “fear,” “hate,” “intolerance,” and “discord” at UCSB.

Nowhere in the memo does vice-chancellor Young condemn the violent actions of his faculty member, Professor Miller-Young, which left the arms of a 16-year old girl covered with scars and abrasions.

Instead, the vice-chancellor praises himself as one known for fighting on behalf of “tolerance.” He touts his long record of speaking at “anti-hate events” and officiating at a “Queer wedding.” Contrast that to the pro-life demonstrators who, the vice-chancellor says, come “wrapped in intolerance and extremism.”

With no apparent sense of irony, vice-chancellor Young reiterates his strong commitment to free speech. He directs all his criticism toward the pro-life demonstrators, and none toward the intolerant, hateful and violent liberals who attacked them.

Apparently, “intolerance” at UCSB has a special meaning–and it covers any point of view that falls outside the extreme liberal groupthink of academia. If you are pro-life, you are considered intolerant. If you hold traditional religious views you are intolerant. On the other hand, if you physically attack a pro-life student, you are probably considered a noble and excellent person who simply took the struggle for good a little too far.

Is that about right, vice-chancellor?

Does the 16-year-old girl, Thorin Short, whom your professor injured and attacked, fall into the category of the the “peddlers of hate,” simply because she believes abortion ends and innocent life? And does your own feminist hit squad remain safely within your designation of the tolerant and good no matter whom they attack?

It sure looks that way.

Read vice-chancellor Young’s full statement and decide for yourself.

In contrast to the opinions of Mr. Young, we’d like to draw reader’s attention to the words of Catherine Short, mother of the girl who was attacked, and Legal Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. She had this to say about the attack on her daughter and the university’s response:

“In early March 2014, my daughters Joan and Thrin, along with several friends, went to the University of California at Santa Barbara to conduct a pro-life outreach. While there, they were accosted by UCSB professor Mireille Miller-Young.

We are confident that the legal process will establish, without room for doubt or equivocation, that Miller-Young was the aggressor throughout her encounter with the pro-lifers. The pro-life speakers did not taunt, provoke, or incite either Miller-Young or anyone else, as some have suggested. On the contrary, they made every effort to meet her provocations, taunts, mockery, and profanity with calm and reason, trying to move her into a more productive channel of discourse…

We encourage UCSB Vice-Chancellor Michael Young to observe a pro-life outreach, whether conducted by my daughters and their friends, a Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust campus team, Justice for All, Project Truth, or UCSB’s own pro-life organization. If he does, he will not see any pro-life person ‘provoking’, ‘taunting’, or ‘peddling hate and intolerance’, as he described in an e-mail to UCSB students following the incident. What he will see is individuals trying to reach the minds and win the hearts of others by employing facts, reason, discussion, and persuasion – exactly the type of ‘exchange of ideas’ that he said ‘is fundamental to the mission of [the] university.’”

Read Catherine Short’s complete statement here.

In view of all the events of the past few weeks, one can reasonably come away with no other conclusion but that the strongholds of intolerance at UCSB have little to do with so-called “evangelical types,” upon whom UCSB’s Michael D. Young seeks to place blame. Instead, at UCSB, intolerance thrives among feminist professors and senior administrators who believe that, ultimately, a liberal-progressive point of view and intent justifies any action, even, as in this case, a physical attack. Or, at least, it shields the liberal who carries out that attack from any criticism.

All the criticism, as usual, is reserved for those who dare to hold pro-life views, and who dare to utter those views aloud.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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Abortion – the “life-sustaining act” of the ages.

That’s the theme behind an exhibit currently on display at the University of Michigan dedicated to defending and glamorizing the history of abortion.

4000 Years for Choice is an exhibition of posters about the age-old practices of abortion and contraception as a means to reclaim reproductive freedom as a deeply personal and life-sustaining act existing throughout all of human history,” states a university webpage describing the exhibit.

The exhibit will be showcased through May 29 in the main lobby of the Lane Hall women’s studies building on campus. The exhibit consists of dozens of brightly colored posters with bold words, phrases and documentation meant to highlight and celebrate all the ways in which women over the millennia have performed abortions.

As for the exhibit’s posters, one offers an ancient text with an abortifacient recipe: “In 3000 BCE, ancient Egyptians contained a contraceptive recipe numbered Prescription Number 21. It was called Recipe Not To Become Pregnant and called for crocodile feces, mixed with fermented dough, and placed in the vagina.”

Similarly, another touts: “Soranus, an ancient Greek physician and medical writer, wrote about the silphium plant. He suggested that women drink the juice once a month because it not only prevents conception but also destroys anything existing.”postercampaign

One poster, named “Bless the Diaphragm,” notes it was a popular 19th century form of contraception. Another, called “Believe Crocodile Dung,” mentions it was a popular spermicidal item in the past.

The “Cheer Casanova” poster touts the infamous womanizer for never having children because he used condoms. “Empower the Douche” denotes what some women at the turn of the century did to try and prevent pregnancy.  And “Rejoice Fumigation” describes how “women have been fumigating their vaginas with contraceptive vapors for thousands of years.”

The exhibit has been described by feminist art exhibit reviewers as “bold, beautiful statements to celebrate choice,” with “fresh, vital strategies and tactics for those committed to social change.”

The images were created by Heather Ault, whom a University of Michigan webpage says is “a visual artist, pro-choice activist, and independent scholar creating artwork to shift conversations about reproductive rights and justice.”

“Her work has been exhibited throughout the country. In 2011 she won the Vision Award from the Abortion Care Network for her innovative work.”

Ault declined to comment to The College Fix for an interview on her art exhibit.

“Without knowledge of this history, we as Americans cannot fully understand women’s deeply ingrained desire to control pregnancies for the good of ourselves, our relationships, and our families,” Ault explains online.

Although not on display, Ault is also the creative mind behind the 4000 Years for Choice corresponding “reproductive roots note cards,” which offer phrases and quotes from various pro-choice activists against colorful backdrops; expressions such as: “Abortion is a gift from God,” “Abortion is a blessing” and “anything 46 million women do every year can’t be immoral.” notecard

One notecard quotes Merle Hoffman at saying: “The act of abortion positions women at their most powerful…” Another quotes Soraya Chemaly: “ ‘Personhood’ for zygotes cruelly subverts the very idea of a culture of life and potentially criminalizes every pregnant woman.”

As for the display on campus, it is sponsored in part by the publicly funded Program for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice, an arm of the University of Michigan’s department of obstetrics and gynecology.

Inquiries by The College Fix into whether the Center for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice has an official position on the pro-choice vs. pro-life controversy, and whether an alternative viewpoint will also be addressed on campus, were met with referrals to the local Planned Parenthood.

Yet Ault’s website states that “anti-choice” comments add to the richness of the conversation and sharpen critical thinking skills.

College Fix contributor Vivian Hughbanks is a student at Hillsdale College.

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IMAGES: Internet screenshots

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The University of California-Santa Barbara professor who allegedly assaulted a pro-life student on campus has been charged with criminal battery.

The College Fix reported on March 12 that department of feminist studies professor Mireille Miller-Young, whose research emphasis is black studies, pornography, and sex work, had been caught on camera assaulting a 16-year-old student, Thrin Short.

Miller-Young led a small mob that approached a group of pro-life demonstrators who were holding signs. The mob chanted “tear down the sign.” Miller-Young then grabbed one of the signs and stormed off with it, eventually engaging in a physical altercation with 16-year-old Short, one of the pro-life demonstrators, when Short tried to retrieve the stolen sign.

The confrontation took place in the university’s designated “free speech area.” UCSBcourtesyphoto

The 3 by 5 foot sign contained graphic images of aborted fetuses as well as statistics and facts about abortion. The scuffle left the 16-year-old Short with visible scars and scratches on her arms.

Even though she injured the teenager, Miller-Young defended her actions and told police she felt morally justified. She told police that images of aborted fetuses “triggered” her to act the way she did, and that she felt she had set a good example for her students by physically confronting the teenage demonstrator.

Nevertheless, authorities warned that her actions constituted vandalism, battery, and robbery.

Late last week, Santa Barbara officials announced that Miller-Young is being prosecuted for misdemeanor theft, battery, and vandalism in connection with her assault on Ms. Short.

Short says Miller-Young pushed her at least three times, stole her sign, then grabbed and attempted to restrain her while others made off with the sign.

Short’s father told Fox News that he hopes the prosecution of Miller-Young will serve as a lesson for those who seek to halt free speech on campus. “She was free to engage in a rational dialogue with them,” Mr. Short said. “Instead, she chose to bully them, steal and destroy their property, and hit and scratch my daughter.”

“I think the goal of this prosecution should be to set a good example for her students, one that will not only deter her from repeating this conduct, but will also deter those who approve of her actions from imitating her appalling behavior,” Mr. Short added.

Watch a video of the alleged assault:

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You don’t have to believe in God to be pro-life.

That’s the message Kelsey Hazzard, founder and president of Secular Pro-Life, has continually proclaimed at colleges across the nation since she founded the organization in 2009.

Although she grew up attending a Methodist church, Hazzard rejected religion toward the end of law school.

“It’s not that I have anything against Christian people or the church I grew up in,” Hazzard said in an interview with The College Fix. “I think there are plenty of good Christian people out there. I’m not a militant atheist; it just isn’t something I believe in.”

But religion or no, Hazzard has been pro-life ever since she knew what abortion was, and became active in pro-life groups while attending the University of Miami. It was there that she attended a March for Life, and was taken aback by how “Catholic” it was.

“There needs to be a place for pro-lifers who are atheist or agnostic,” Hazzard said.presentation

Secular Pro-Life is a volunteer-run organization and a rallying point for those who sympathize with the pro-life cause for reasons other than religious conviction.

“You do not have to be religious to value human life,” the organization’s website states. “You do not have to be religious to see the humanity of the fetus.”

There are more than 6 million people in the United States who are non-religious prolifers, according to a Pew Research Center statistic touted on the site.

Secular Pro-Life is about 5-years old, and is completely internet-based. SPL does not have a physical headquarters. In fact, Hazzard has never even been in the same room with Monica Snyder, her “right hand” who is based in California.

“We joke that we will finally meet at one of our weddings,” Hazzard said. “We talk on the phone, we text, but have never actually met in person.”

Hazzard and Snyder both travel to colleges to give presentations for Secular Pro-Life, with Snyder taking the West Coast and Hazzard taking the east. They see college students as a very important demographic in their outreach.

“Age is a major factor,” Hazzard said.  “Under-30 people are the least religious, and the most pro-life. It’s in this college group that we have the bulk of our support.”

At the group’s college presentations, the audience hears a lot of talking points that are broached at many other pro-life presentations.

“We make a basic case. We talk about human life, prenatal development, and give them a perspective they haven’t heard before,” Hazzard said. “Or if they have heard it, they heard it from a religious person and didn’t take it seriously. Maybe what the priest said was accurate, but he’s a priest so they may not take it seriously.”

But the organization also reaches out to their audience in ways that are atypical of a pro-life presentation. For instance, it fully supports contraceptive use, and doesn’t tie the abortion issue to other moral issues, such as gay marriage.

Response from college students varies.

Most college students come with a general intellectual curiosity, they haven’t heard this perspective before and they are interested and respectful. In one incident at the University of Georgia, some college students tore down legally posted fliers for the event, but Hazzard said this isn’t typical.

“Some people who are pro-choice come, but are pleased to see that we support contraception,” Hazzard said. “Others don’t like us because they see us as a threat to abortion rights. Which we are.”SPL

SPL does have support from many Christians, Hazzard said, though they tend to be more liberal Christians who don’t identify with the political right.

Not all Christians are so friendly toward the organization, however.

In a comment on a blog post several months ago, Hazzard said that a commenter seemed genuinely concerned that “Satan was trying to destroy the pro-life movement from within.”

“There’s not a lot you can do to respond to that. I try to keep things upbeat. Abortion is a very heavy topic, but you have to find humor in your activism or you will burn out and go nuts,” Hazzard said.

Hazzard said the best reaction she can hope for when doing a presentation is for someone to walk up and say:“I thought I was the only atheist pro-lifer,” or “I thought I was the only pro-lifer who supports contraception.”

“I live for that,” she said.

College Fix contributor Katie England is a student at Colorado State University Pueblo.

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SANTA BARBARA – A UCSB department of feminist studies professor who stole and destroyed a large sign right out of the hands of prolife campus demonstrators, then tussled up a teenage protestor who followed the educator to retrieve it, defended her actions to authorities as morally justified, according to a recently released police report that details the March 4 incident.

The associate professor, Mireille Miller-Young, whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, told police she is pregnant, and that the graphic images of aborted fetuses negatively “triggered” her to act in the way she did, adding she was a “conscientious objector.” She told police she felt she set a good example for her students.

Campus authorities told the professor her actions constituted vandalism, battery and robbery, according to the police report. The Santa Barbara district attorney’s office has yet to file charges against the professor, the Santa Barbara Independent reported Tuesday.

UCSB students, meanwhile, have launched a petition in support of the professor.

“A student Facebook group called UCSB Microaggressions has set up a petition on change.org addressed to Chancellor Yang and other members of the UCSB community that requests a  statement of solidarity with Miller-Young and greater restrictions on content that may be traumatic to students or trigger unwanted reminders of past experiences,” the Daily Nexus reports. “At the time of publication, the petition had 1,009 signatures with a goal of 1,700.”

The relevant portions of the UC Santa Barbara Police Department’s official report states Miller-Young’s version of events:

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