Two pro-life activists were assaulted while protesting outside the DC Planned Parenthood on Saturday.
Terrisa Bukovanic, the Founder and Executive Director of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), and Michael Gribbin, frequently offer sidewalk counsel outside the clinic to let women know there is help and other options for women who change their minds.
PAAU said in a press release that, according to Bukovanic, “the incident began when a woman approached her and threw coffee in her face and hair. When Gribbin went to grab the coffee cup her male partner assaulted him.”
The incident, most of which was captured on video, shows Gribbon being thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly. It also shows Bukovanic being slapped in the face by the woman who had thrown the coffee.
Despite the attack being on video, DC police declined to charge the attackers.
🚨Two proaborts decided to assault me and another pro-life defender outside Planned Parenthood in Washington DC this morning simply for standing on the sidewalk offering resources to families in crisis
— Terrisa Bukovinac (@Terrisalin) July 22, 2023
“Even as a progressive anti-abortion atheist I understand that the abortion industrial complex is responsible for a mass genocide which will require immense bravery to dismantle,” Bukovanic said. “Pro-lifers must be committed to total non-violence to effectively challenge the institution of legal child killing around the globe.”
Michael New, a Catholic University of America professor who helps coordinate pro-life sidewalk counseling efforts outside the DC Planned Parenthood, said in a statement, “It is sad, but unsurprising that the DC police have refused to press charges on two individuals who assaulted 2 pro-life sidewalk counselors outside the DC Planned Parenthood.”
“Pro-lifers have first amendment rights and no one should have to fear for their safety while sidewalk counseling,” New continued. “As someone who coordinates sidewalk counseling efforts outside the DC Planned Parenthood it is of paramount importance that our volunteers are safe. If Terrisa and Michael wish to file civil charges against their assailants, they would have my enthusiastic support.”
PAAU noted that this is not the first time that DC police have refused to charge people who attack pro-life demonstrators.
“On August 31, 2019, Gribbin was chalking pro-life messages on the sidewalk outside the DC Planned Parenthood,” PAAU’s press release noted. “Quinn Chasan who worked for Google stole Gribbin’s chalk and threw it down the street. When confronted Chasan proceeded to assault Gribbin. Despite video evidence of the incident, the DC police refused to press charges.”