US

Student Charged After Video Shows Her Punching Pro-Lifer on Campus

By Zachary Stieber

A feminist college student has been charged with assault after video footage captured the moment she slugged a pro-lifer.

Warning: Video contains expletives.

Jillian Ward, 19, a pro-abortion student and aspiring journalist, said her motivation for the assault was graphic photographs that showed aborted children.

The pictures were put up on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus by the pro-life group Created Equal on April 2. Ward went to the display and asked the people manning it, “Did ya’ll put these up?”

Austin Beigel, one of the representatives, answered in the affirmative. That’s when Ward clenched her hands and lunged at Beigel, delivering blows to him while screaming.

a baby inside the womb
A 3D ultrasound showing a baby inside the womb. (Fotopress/Getty Images)

“[Expletive] terrible person,” Ward screamed. “You’re a terrible person. You—this is not okay. This is not okay. This is not okay. Shut the [expletive] up right now. This is wrong. This is triggering. You’re not an innocent human being. You’re a terrible person.”

Beigel tried to stop Ward from hitting him and did not hit her back.

Another representative of the group tried calming Ward down, saying: “Ma’am, stop that. Ma’am calm down.”

She was later identified as Jillian Ward in the arrest report. On her Facebook page, she describes herself as a feminist, mental health advocate, aspiring author, and activist. In some posts, she describes herself as producing pieces of journalism. She said she started attending the college in July 2018 and was studying English.

“I got into UNC Chapel Hill!! So stoked because it’s my top pick!! Also very anxious because it’s just hitting me now that I’m going to go to college lol,” she wrote in January 2018.

Her page includes posts that are against President Donald Trump and that champion feminism and social justice.

Police said that they were charging her with misdemeanor assault. The arrest took place on the same day but the footage was only released on May 7. The university has not commented on the assault.

Created Equal President Mark Harrington told the Daily Caller News Foundation via email that the college has not reached out to the group.

In a statement to followers on Facebook, Biegel said: “Violence from abortion supporters is becoming more common.”

“I hope you pray for the heart of the young woman who attacked me, because ‘There but by the grace of God go I.’ Please consider supporting me and my wife so that I can continue bringing the truth in love to the many lost people in our country. Your donations make it possible for lives to be saved and changed by God through my ministry,” he added.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on March 21, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The assault came several after Trump signed an executive order instructing colleges across the nation to protect free speech on their campuses, or risk losing funding from the federal government.

“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values—they’ve been under siege,” Trump told reporters in the East Room before signing the order. “Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”

The video of the North Carolina assault came about a week after Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat, posted videos of himself harassing pro-life protesters who were praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. He later denigrated Christians and declined to apologize after it was revealed two of the girls he asked supporters to dox, or reveal private information about, were 13 and 15 years old, respectively.

Pro-life activists are now planning a rally at the location on May 10.