The 2020 March for Life was largely a success; as many as 225,000 people came to show their support for the sanctity and protection of human life. In remembrance of the 60 million lives lost since Roe v. Wade, the theme for this year’s march was “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” Yet the event was not without controversy; as expected, pro-abortion protesters were there, and some of them were violent.
Selene Cerankosky is a 20-year-old junior at Robert Morris University, a program assistant with Students for Life of America, the president of Students for Life at Robert Morris University, and the Pennsylvania captain for Students for Life Action. She told the Daily Caller she had just finished walking in the march when she was approached while standing in a crowd outside of the Supreme Court. The protester, she said, was wearing a dark sweatshirt and white pants with “caked blood on them on the crotch area.” Cerankowsky explained that she believes the protester was female, and could have been with Reproaction or Abortion Access Front, two groups who had been protesting outside the Supreme Court during the march. And the protester immediately became aggressive.
“She got very close to me,” she recalled. “We were probably within 3 inches of each other’s space as she was being rather aggressive trying to get me out of the way and I just kind of stood still. And then she told me to back up.” When Cerankosky wouldn’t move, the exchange turned violent. “Her exact words were ‘back up or I will,’ and then an expletive, ‘slit your throat,’” Cerankosky said. “So I said, ‘Did you just say that?’ and she repeated her ultimatum like, really, ‘I swear to God. Back up. Back up. Back up,’” Still, she refused to move away.
“I was standing my ground to make a point,” Ceranosky explained. “I think if you submit to their demands they’re going to realize it works and keep doing that. And I wouldn’t want that to happen to somebody very new to doing pro-life work and be absolutely terrified.”
Meanwhile, Students for Life Regional Coordinator Stephanie Stone got police involved, and the protester was arrested. “The pro-life generation is here in a joyful, peaceful and loving manner today, and yet we have seen unprecedented threats of violence,” Stone said in a Students for Life press release.
But unfortunately, that wasn’t the only violent incident there in front of the Supreme Court.
Bryan Kemper, founder of Stand True and youth director of Priests for Life, was likewise confronted by a group of abortion activists at the Supreme Court. A group of women with Silent No More were giving their testimonies, and Kemper and several others placed themselves between the women and the activists, in an attempt to keep them safe. Yet the group quickly became hostile. Calling themselves “Team Abortion,” the six women were there to protest with Abortion Access Front.
According to Kemper, he was sexually assaulted.
“We were elbowed, kicked, had our legs locked as they attempted to knock us down,” he recalled in a Facebook post. “But most disgustingly the one in the center left of this photo sexually assaulted me. She put her hand between my legs and grabbed and squeezed my genitals as well as my butt several times.”
In an additional Facebook comment, he explained that he was unable to contact the police. “I was being smashed against a stage and refused to leave that post while protecting the women of Silent No More,” he said. “My first duty at that moment was protecting those women.”
Another woman also insinuated that she had been assaulted by the same group of women. “They were awful,” the woman said in a comment. “I was barely able to hold myself up they were pushing so hard. Not to mention she was grinding me from behind.” Another man added, “[N]ot to mention the short one screaming, ‘Rape this!’ And grabbing herself when a woman gave her testimony about being raped.”
This kind of vulgarity and violence is unfortunately becoming more common among abortion activists, and demonstrates that, pro-lifers must continue to be exceedingly cautious in their fight for life. In these instances, both victims had other people with them, which may have ensured that the situations did not become more dangerous. It’s important for pro-lifers to remain in groups whenever possible, and have someone recording video at all times in case any evidence is needed for reports to law enforcement.
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