Violence against pro-life advocates appears to be increasing across the country. The Ohio-based group Created Equal reports one of its leaders was the latest victim of assault last week during a pro-life outreach at an Ohio high school.
The pro-life group posted a video (below) of the confrontation Tuesday, showing an angry man yelling at a group of young pro-lifers and then grabbing one pro-lifer’s camera. The man said, “This is not violence” and proceeded to yell at the team. Created Equal said in a news release that the man also “roughed up” one of its outreach team members.
Mark Harrington, national director of the group, said they are seeing more abortion advocates resort to violence against their pro-life outreach, which includes photos of aborted babies.
“In defending the violence of abortion, abortion advocates use violence to intimidate preborn defenders,” Harrington said in a statement. “We take every lawful measure to ensure the safety of our team members. However, we understand these kinds of attacks are inevitable. We will never be silenced by violence or threats of violence.”
Here is more from the group in an email to LifeNews.com:
The video shows the abortion advocate assaulting Ian Spencer, Outreach Coordinator, for Created Equal, as he prepared his team to discuss abortion with students at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Columbus, OH. While attacking Ian, he refuses to admit what he is doing is violent.
When Ian requests he stop violating our right to free speech, he responds: “I am not physically assaulting anyone.” Nevertheless, he does not stop arguing that he has a right to threaten our team—all the while telling them “to leave this area … right now.”
Gahanna police arrived on the scene shortly after the attack. Later that day, the perpetrator was cited for a fourth degree misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.
The man accused the pro-life group of filming him without permission; however, Created Equal pointed to an Ohio law that says individuals forfeit their right to privacy in public areas. The group said it coordinates with local law enforcement when it plans pro-life outreaches to ensure adherence to the law.
LifeNews has reported a number of attacks against pro-lifers in the past few months.
In January, pro-life sidewalk counselors in Arizona were targeted by a man and his teenage children in a drive-by incident. Police later filed charges against him and his teenage children, including disorderly conduct and assault. In March, a pro-life club at the University of California Davis was another victim of abortion activists when its members set up a poll table asking about late-term abortions. One abortion activist allegedly harassed the students and threw their pro-life materials on the ground.
In 2014, a pro-abortion feminist studies professor at the University of California Santa Barbara was punished for attacking a young pro-life activist, stealing and destroying her sign and encouraging a group of students to be violent, LifeNews reported. The professor later was fined and sentenced to three years probation and anger management for the assault.