Charges now filed in attack on 88-year-old pro-lifer outside Planned Parenthood

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UPDATE, 2/8/23: According to Catherine Short, Vice President Legal Affairs at of Life Legal Defense Foundation, charges have now been filed against Mr. Foti’s assailant, who has been “charged with California Penal Code § 243(d) – Battery with Serious Bodily Injury and court2 PC243.25 – Battery on an Elder or Dependent Adult.” Ms. Short told Live Action News that “[t]he arraignment is scheduled for February 15.”

2/6/23: Last year, 88-year-old Ross Foti was violently attacked as he prayed peacefully outside a San Mateo Planned Parenthood facility, as he has done for over 30 years. Yet as of now, no charges have been filed even though the attack was so severe that Foti had to be hospitalized.

According to witnesses, a woman became enraged when Foti parked in the space that she wanted to use. She began screaming at him, and then shoved him into a fire hydrant. Foti suffered a punctured lung and was in the hospital for four days.

Operation Rescue reported that the woman was a client at Planned Parenthood, and officers on the scene gave her a citation before allowing her to leave. They recommended that she be charged with battery causing serious injury and for elder abuse, but the district attorney has reportedly taken no action. Foti allegedly still suffers pain and requires ongoing treatment for his injuries.

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“This violent assault against Ross Foti is unconscionable,” Life Legal CEO Alexandra Snyder said in a press release after the attack. “Life Legal is committed to pursuing all legal options to obtain justice for Ross and to protect the right to pro-life speech without the fear of violence on public sidewalks.”

Compare the treatment Foti’s attacker received to the legal battle with Mark Houck, who pushed an abortion facility escort after that escort harassed Houck’s 12-year-old son. Houck caused no injuries to the man, no charges were recommended by local police, and the escort repeatedly refused to show up for court dates, so his claim was eventually dismissed. Yet the FBI raided Houck’s home to arrest him and Houck faced federal charges for violating the FACE Act, which could have sent him to prison for 11 years. The Thomas More Society, which represented Houck, alleged that the charges against him were not based on justice, but on an effort to intimidate other pro-lifers. Houck was finally acquitted of all charges this week.

Editor’s Note/Correction, 2/8/23: This article originally stated that the Planned Parenthood was located in Napa. It is in San Mateo. We regret the error.

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