A pro-life advocate was taken to the hospital Monday after he was punched in the face and knocked to the ground outside a Planned Parenthood in Naples, Florida.
The attack is the latest in a growing list of assaults, vandalism, threats and other violence against pro-life advocates.
According to the Naples Daily News, witnesses said Joe Alger, 65, of Marco Island, was praying the rosary on the sidewalk Monday morning when a man came out of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility and approached him.
Carol Gentile, a regular pro-life advocate at the abortion facility, told the newspaper the man punched Alger in the face and knocked him to the ground and then punched him again. She said the man also shouted profanities and used rude gestures.
Someone called the sheriff and an ambulance, which took Alger to the hospital. The report does not mention what injuries he sustained.
“I have never, ever seen this type of aggression or fighting (here),” Gentile said. “It is a peaceful protest.”
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Sarah Scully, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson, tried to downplay the violence by claiming “a fight broke out between a trespassed protester and a patient’s support person.”
The report notes other pro-life witnesses corroborated Gentile’s statements, but a Planned Parenthood volunteer who claimed Alger trespassed on their property did not begin his shift until noon – after the incident allegedly occurred.
Later, a sheriff’s deputy was seen escorting a man from the abortion facility into a patrol car, according to the report.
Alger said he does not plan to press charges, and a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said they did not make any arrests.
Increasingly, pro-life advocates have become targets of assault, vandalism and other violence. This month, LifeNews also reported about two young, female pro-life advocates who were assaulted in separate incidents in Toronto, Canada.
In an Oct. 1 incident, which was captured on video, a woman, allegedly Gabby Skwarko, can be seen shoving and throwing a metal cart at a pro-life advocate with Toronto Against Abortion at Ryerson University.
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.
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.