SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A professor of feminist studies at a California university was caught on video stealing a sign from members of a pro-life organization and then later allegedly destroyed the poster with scissors in her office.
Mireille Miller-Young is an associate professor of feminist studies at the University of California—Santa Barbara (UCSB). Her areas of study, according to her faculty Web page, include Black Film, Feminist and Queer Theory, Sex Work, and Pornography.
On March 4th, the pro-life organization Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust held a peaceful awareness campaign on the UCSB campus. According to the organization’s website, the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust “is a Christian pro-life activist ministry dedicated to educating and activating the youth of America.”
“Compelled by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and our respect for life, the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust speak out on behalf of over 56,000,000 children lost to abortion in America since 1973,” the organization’s mission statement says. “Dedicated to defending the right to life of future generations, we are engaged in a battle to end America’s genocide. We recognize the urgency of this war, as over 3,500 children die each day in the United States because of abortion.”
During the March 4th event, 13 students with the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust distributed 900 pro-life informational pamphlets to UCSB students and displayed several large, handheld signs with graphic images of abortion victims. Though several UCSB students expressed gratitude for the pro-life messages, Miller-Young approached the group and threatened to forcibly remove their anti-abortion materials.
“We don’t need to listen to these people!” Miller-Young shouted, according to witnesses. “They don’t have our permission to be here. Should we tear down their sign?”
Miller-Young then incited several pro-abortion students to chant, “Tear down this sign! Tear down this sign!”
Then, as captured on a cell phone video published by the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Miller-Young grabbed a sign from one of the members of the group and carried it into a nearby building.
“I may be a thief, but you’re terrorists!” Miller-Young yelled as she and two pro-abortion students walked away with the sign.
Students with the Christian pro-life group were shocked.
“She’s a professor and she’s stealing a sign!” one of the youth can be heard exclaiming in the video. “She’s a thief!”
Two of the pro-life students—16-year-old Thrin Short and her 21-year-old sister Joan—followed Miller-Young into the building. However, the professor entered an elevator and then pushed the students away when they tried to follow her. Thrin was left with scratches on her arms from the professor’s shoves.
According to a report filed by the UCSB Police Department, Miller-Young destroyed the pro-life poster with scissors in her office. When asked by a police officer if there had been a struggle for the sign, the professor simply said, “I’m stronger so I was able to take the poster.”
Members of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust described the taking of the sign as “a considerable loss to our operation.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before and I hope it will never happen again,” one of the witnesses wrote, “but it did not destroy the work that we did. We were able to handle individuals. What we did not expect to encounter was a professor inciting a mob.”
Following the incident, Miller-Young received heavy criticism for forcibly taking the demonstrators’ sign.
“The UC system should be embarrassed and get rid of this ‘professor’ who only teaches HER agenda instead of teaching these students to think on their own,” one online commenter from California stated. “I am spending a lot of hard earned money for this?!”
However, Miller-Young has firmly defended her actions against the criticism. One tweet posted on her Twitter page last week dismissed one of the Short girls as a “whining little bigot.”
Despite the loss of their sign and the assault from the professor, members of the pro-life organization remain optimistic about their fight against abortion. In a Friday blog post, a Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust team member said they have been making the most of the “polarization” caused by their recent outreach.
“In order to bring about the most good during this heightened polarization of student opinion about abortion at UCSB, the Campus Outreach Team held a follow-up outreach at the campus this week,” the blog post states.
“In the last week, we have received an overwhelming outpouring of support for Joan, Thrin, and for Survivors,” the blog post continues. “Our emails, blog, Facebook page, and phone have all been flooded with encouraging messages from people who are familiar with Survivors, and from many who had not heard of our ministry before. … We are exceedingly grateful for all of the encouragement, support, and prayers.”