On Saturday, two pro-life activists were assaulted while demonstrating outside DC Planned Parenthood.
Terrisa Bukovanic, founder and executive director of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), and Michael Gribbin frequently offer sidewalk counseling 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 get the cup of coffee, his male partner assaulted him.
The incident, most of which was captured on video, shows Gribbon being knocked to the ground and punched repeatedly. It also shows Bukovanic being slapped across the face by the woman who threw the coffee.
Although the attack was caught on video, DC police have refused to charge the attackers.
🚨Two pro-abortions decided to assault me and another pro-life advocate outside of 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 industry complex is responsible for mass genocide that will take immense bravery to dismantle,” Bukovanic said. “Pro-lifers must engage in total non-violence to effectively challenge the institution of legal child murder worldwide.”
Michael New, a Catholic University of America professor who helps coordinate pro-life sidewalk counseling efforts outside DC Planned Parenthood, said in a statement, “It is sad, but unsurprising that DC police have declined to press charges against two individuals who assaulted 2 pro-life counselors on sidewalks outside DC Planned Parenthood.”
“Pro-lifers have a First Amendment right and no one should have to fear for their safety during sidewalk counseling,” New continued. “As someone who coordinates sidewalk counseling efforts outside of DC Planned Parenthood, it is of paramount importance that our volunteers are safe. If Terrisa and Michael wish to file a civil lawsuit against their attackers, they would have my enthusiastic support.
PAAU noted that this is not the first time DC police have refused to charge people who attack pro-life protesters.
“On August 31, 2019, Gribbin was writing pro-life messages on the sidewalk outside DC Planned Parenthood,” PAAU’s press release noted. “Quinn Chasan, who worked for Google, stole Gribbin’s chalk and threw it in the street. When confronted, Chasan assaulted Gribbin. Despite video evidence of the incident, DC police declined to press charges.