A Toronto abortion activist has been charged in the attack of a pro-life woman at Ryerson University earlier this month.
Global News reports Gabriela Skwarko, 23, was charged with assault and assault with a weapon Friday for the attack on pro-life advocates Katie Somers and Blaise Alleyne with Toronto Against Abortion.
Police said Skwarko turned herself in Friday.
Skwarko is a member of the pro-abortion club Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, and believed to be both a student and employee of the university. A spokesperson for the university would not tell Global News if she still is employed or if she is facing discipline from the university.
“This is now a Toronto Police Service matter; the university is co-operating with the TPS,” the spokesperson said.
Police said Skwarko is prohibited from contacting Alleyne and Somers or possessing any weapons. She is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 13.
“We hope these charges will send a message that violence against peaceful and civil discourse will not be tolerated,” Somers told LifeNews in an email.
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 pro-abortion protesters when one of them, allegedly Skwarko, became hostile.
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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!’”
The College Fix reports Skwarko works for the Ryerson University Office of Social Innovation, though the university recently removed her email address from its employee page.
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 another video showing even more harassment that they 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. He also is facing charges.
Earlier this month, 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.