Police recently named a Canadian university employee a “person of interest” in an assault against a female pro-life advocate that occurred earlier this month.
The College Fix reports Gabby Skwarko, an employee and student at Ryerson University in Toronto, is a “person of interest” in the assault on pro-life advocates Katie Somers and Blaise Alleyne with Toronto Against Abortion. Police said they are continuing their investigation.
Fox News also reports Skwarko may not contact Alleyne, also a student at Ryerson, or go within 100 meters of him or any pro-life demonstration that he is involved with.
The Oct. 1 incident, which was captured on video, shows a woman, allegedly Skwarko, shoving Somers and throwing a metal cart at her while the pro-life group was doing outreach at the university.
Alleyne said they were engaged in civil discussion with several counter-protesters when one of them, allegedly Skwarko, became hostile.
The video shows the woman knocking over one of their signs, pushing Somers repeatedly, grabbing something out of her backpack and then throwing the item.
“She chased after me, grabbed my full, stainless steel water bottle and smashed it on the ground, then grabbed my backpack, yanking me back and forth,” Somers said, recounting the attack. “I yelled, ‘Get away from me!’ And she came after me and shoved me. She then moved on to Blaise, bumping him in the chest with hers and saying, ‘Let’s go, are you filming me? Let’s do this!’”
According to the report, Skwarko works for the Ryerson University Office of Social Innovation and volunteers for the Reproductive Justice Coalition, a pro-abortion club. The Fix reports the university recently removed Skwarko’s email from its employee page.
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Global News reached out to the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, but they declined an on-camera interview.
“We have no comment,” said Olson Crow, the group’s co-founder.
“They have assaulted us multiple times and giving into their view point and the way they’ve swung this is problematic and bad.”
Crow did not provide any evidence that Toronto Against Abortion had assaulted members of their group before.
According to Somers, members of Ryerson’s Reproductive Justice Collective have been cited by Ryerson in the past for code of conduct violations because of violence at anti-abortion rallies, including one from March of this year.
Somers, whose wrist and leg were injured in the attack, told Fox News that she decided to take time off work to heal. She said the assault also left her shaken emotionally.
This is not the first time pro-lifers with Toronto Against Abortion said they have faced hostility. Somers pointed LifeNews to a third video showing even more harassment that they have experienced, including stolen, damaged and destroyed signs, threats, and profanities yelled in their faces.
But Somers said she will not stop defending the unborn. She said women who had abortions have thanked her for sharing the truth about abortion, and she has met children who are alive today because of their outreach.
“The minds and hearts that I see change every day keep me going,” she told LifeNews. “These are the reasons we will never give up, and the of course, the babies. Sometimes the ways we have changed people go far beyond what we could imagine.”
Pro-life advocates are facing growing hostility across the world. On Sept. 30, a pro-life advocate with Campaign Life Coalition also reported being assaulted, allegedly by abortion activist Jordan Hunt, during a different pro-life rally in Toronto. Police said Hunt turned himself in after a video of the assault went viral.
And on Monday, a pro-life advocate in Naples, Florida was taken to the hospital after a man allegedly punched him in the face repeatedly outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.
LifeNews has reported about dozens of threats, vandalism and other violence in the past year. These range from threats against prominent pro-life politicians like U.S. Reps. Chris Smith, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Steve Scalise to a Missouri sidewalk counselor who had a gun pointed at him.
In September, a popular conservative blogger was under police protection after she received rape and death threats because of a pro-life tweet. In June, a Florida man who volunteers at Planned Parenthood was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill pro-life U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s children. Then in August, someone threatened to rape and kill the family of a pro-life advocate with Operation Rescue.
Students for Life of America also reported a spate of vandalism this fall, including posters being torn down at Woodson High School in Virginia, signs and flags being stolen at University of Nebraska-Omaha, and posters being torn down at Robert Morris University and Kutztown University.
And on Sunday, a pro-abortion mob threw firebombs at a Catholic church and vandalized stores in Argentina.