An associate professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara has been accused of attacking a 16-year-old during a March anti-abortion protest on campus.
Mireille Miller-Young, 38, was three months pregnant at the time of the incident, part of which was recorded on a cell phone camera.
The video was posted online by Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, and shows 16-year-old Thrin Short pleading with Miller-Young to return a sign she had stolen.
At one point, Short calls her a thief, to which a smiling Miller-Young responds, “I may be a thief, but you’re a terrorist.”
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Miller-Young pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of theft, vandalism and battery after stealing and destroying an anti-abortion poster and injuring the 16-year-old activist. She has apologized for her actions, and “hopes to make amends through community service.”
“As much as the images they displayed were offensive and distressing to my students, and to me, I had no right to take their poster or destroy it,” she wrote in her apology letter.
The associate professor was set to appear for sentencing on August 14; her hearing, however, was moved to another courtroom before being rescheduled.
Miller-Young’s coursework includes pornography and sex work, and has gained her the nickname “the porn professor.”
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Miller-Young’s supporters, some of them fellow professors at the University of California, cite “the cultural legacy of slavery” and the effects of pregnancy to explain why the feminist studies professor attacked the teenager.
Amongst them is history professor Paul Spikard, who stated that his colleague is the object 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.”
The associate professor told UCSB police that she was “triggered” by the graphic images of abortion on the poster.