The Fresno State Police Department is investigating complaints that a student ripped anti-abortion posters off walls as the group that posted them recorded the incident.
Bernadette Tasy, president of the Fresno State chapter of “Students for Life,” said the incident happened April 10.
She said she, along with two other club members, were posting fliers with language that opposed SB320, a bill that would make it possible for public universities in California to offer abortion medication to students by 2022.
Tasy said the group was posting fliers in the Engineering East Building just after 8 a.m. when the student allegedly ripped a poster out of the hands of a student and later took down fliers that were left in a posting area of the building’s hall.
The video posted to YouTube shows the moment the student ripped one poster off a bulletin board and also shows Tasy asking him, “Why are you tearing down our posters?” to which the student responded, “Go to hell.”
The group had been allowed to print the fliers after it requested to use some of its club funds to print the papers. The fliers state that “abortion advocates are attempting to turn our state and college universities into abortion facilities.” The fliers allege that campus health clinics do not have proper equipment to administer the abortion techniques.
According to the state Legislature, “when pregnant young people decide that abortion is the best option for them, having early, accessible care can help them stay on track to achieve their educational and other aspirational life plans.”
The Students for Life group has taken its fight against the bill to Sacramento, where members spoke to staff in the offices of lawmakers and told them about why they think the bill would be bad for university campuses.
Tasy believes the message of the flier shouldn’t matter and that even “controversial ideas” should be allowed to be presented on a college campus.
She said that since the fall of 2016 the group has experienced opposition to its messages, incidents that she has brought up to the university’s Office of Student Affairs.
“There should be respect for differing views,” she said.
The group is the same one that successfully challenged a professor in court who erased anti-abortion messages that the members were writing on campus last spring with chalk. That professor, Greg Thatcher, was ordered to undergo First Amendment training as part of the settlement, which included a $17,000 fine.
The Fresno State Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. A Fresno State spokeswoman said the university police department is investigating the incident.
Tasy said she last spoke with the police about the incident on April 16.