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Posted on March 27, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.

Life Legal Defense Foundation Calls for Civility Toward UCSB Professor

Source: Lori Solyom for the Life Legal Defense Foundation

A UC Santa Barbara professor made headlines when she went berserk on a group of pro-life advocates on campus earlier this month. Ironically, Life Legal Defense Foundation legal director Catherine Short is the mother of 21-year-old Joan Short and 16-year-old Trin Short, two of the young women assaulted by the professor.

The professor’s actions have provoked much justified online criticism of her as well as unwarranted personal attacks via social media. In response to this, the senior Short has asked the public to be civil and has called upon the university administration to welcome the pro-life presence on campus.

Professor Mireille Miller-Young has been charged with battery, vandalism and theft for her actions in accosting the girls and stealing their property.

“What Miller-Young did, what she has said and written, what she teaches and publishes, UCSB’s response, and appropriate sanctions for her actions have a place in the conversation,” Short said, adding that personal disparagements do not. “As my daughters tell people they meet on campuses, let’s keep to the topic and have a reasonable, productive conversation.”

Miller-Young’s well-publicized attack has resulted in many expressions of support for the Short sisters, which they have gratefully welcomed. Misguided disparagement of the professor who assaulted them, has drawn reproof from their mother, who urges all to be civil.

An openly biased email from the university’s Vice-Chancellor Michael Young to UCSB students following the incident, referred to “evangelical types” as “self-proclaimed prophets, and provocateurs” and “proselytizers hawking intolerance in the name of religious belief.” His missive insists that “students have expressed outrage, pain, embarrassment, fear, hurt and feelings of harassment … .”

This prejudicial communication from the high-ranking university administrator has prompted Short to request that he personally observe a pro-life outreach, and that the school honor free speech and equal access for pro-life groups.

“At Life Legal Defense Foundation, we are unequivocally pro-life,” said Dana Cody, president and executive director. “We daily pursue legal means of ending the abortion of helpless and innocent children and we fully support Catherine’s daughters in their pro-life witness. At the same time, we heartily endorse Catherine’s call for civility to all, especially those who actions are inappropriate and misguided.”

Read Short’s full statement by clicking here. Read the March email from Young to UCSB students by clicking here.

— Lori Solyom represents the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

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