It’s often said by the abortion industry that violence is a frequent tactic used by pro-lifers. But the reality is, pro-life demonstrators and sidewalk counselors are frequently targets for violence and harassment by abortion advocates. In a book recently released by Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life, Carney documents incidents of violence against pro-lifers.
Shortly after the local news in Santa Cruz covered the city’s 40 Days for Life campaign, pro-choicers came out in force to harass the demonstrators:
For the next week, several [pro-choice] protesters showed up in the afternoons wearing ghoul costumes and shouting at prayer volunteers. Throughout the vigil, volunteers were spat upon and had water bottles thrown at them and signs ripped out of their hands.
In England, 40 Days for Life participants endured even worse harassment:
Some students in England have a strong attachment to abortion. At first, the students would play jokes pretending to be God asking for volunteers to go away. They would then pretend they were giving up their pro-life protest for Lent. Later, they would pour buckets of water over volunteers as a prank … After that, they would start organizations to ridicule, troll, and send death threats towards pro-lifers involved in this work. On one evening they decided to troll an event with glasses of urine to pour over volunteers.
England was not the only place where pro-choicers threw urine and excrement at peaceful pro-life demonstrators. In another account, Carney describes what happened when a huge, angry mob of abortion supporters surrounded a group of pro-life demonstrators:
Pro-abortion activists would throw horse dung at pro-lifers … The greatest irony was that while pro-abortion groups continue to cry harassment and intimidation, the only groups on the receiving end of such behavior were the pro-life groups. This was made manifest when a group of 300 people shouted at the top of their voices, “Stop harassing women!” How ironic that half the audience they were speaking to was women.
It is hard to imagine how intimidating and terrifying it must be to be surrounded by 300 screaming pro-abortion activists.
In an article on LifeSite News, two pro-lifers who attended a pro-abortion demonstration describe what happened to them. Pro-life activist Lauren Metz says:
[W]e were screamed at, called names, spit on, sexually harassed, and censored by the covering of our signs …. A male feminist…called me a piece of s*** and worse. He got within an inch or so of my face, continuing his harassment, exclaiming that he did not want to talk to me, only to harass me.
Pro-lifer Rachel Burkey says:
At one point a middle-aged woman walked up to one of our female volunteers, and while reaching towards her groin, aggressively and repeatedly said, ‘Can I grab your p***y?’
Both pro-lifers had pictures of aborted babies with them, to show pro-abortion demonstrators the truth of what they were supporting. Seeing the victims of their ideology drove pro-abortion activists into a rage. It is easier for abortion activists to support abortion when its victims are unseen and invisible.
In another article in the Arkansas Times, abortionist William Harrison describes how pro-lifers picketing outside his abortion facility were treated:
While I definitely did not encourage it, young people began to curse our picketers, several of whom had buckets of urine, and worse, thrown on them as they prepared to listen to a group of smiling young people who seemed to have slowed to tell them how much they supported what they were doing.
In her memoir, abortion facility owner Norma Goldberger recalls a conversation with one of her employees, a nurse-anesthesiologist. He confessed to pouring urine on pro-lifers from a second story window. Goldberger writes:
He said he was so angry that he poured urine from the second-floor window onto the demonstrators below. It was childish behavior on his part, but he had reached his limit. Since pregnancy tests were done on first morning samples of urine, clinics had a ready supply of urine.
Goldberger also confesses that she and the other abortion workers harassed pro-life picketers outside the facility. Normally, pro-lifers at her facility were led by a man named Farley. One day a new group of pro-lifers showed up, led by a different man. Goldberger writes:
We decided to stand on the inside of the front glass door facing the leader and stare at his crotch. We made hand gestures indicating that what was there must be very, very small.… It worked. A few minutes of that tactic and the Farley substitute left, and his entire group left with their leader. Best of all, he never returned to our clinic.
Despite negative stereotypes aimed at pro-lifers, it is frequently pro-abortion activists who harass, intimidate, and assault peaceful pro-lifers. Whether by throwing excrement and urine on picketers and sidewalk counselors, or sexually harassing them, these pro-abortion activists treat pro-lifers as less than human. It is not a huge step from supporting the killing of babies to dehumanizing those who oppose you.