One of the most loving and dedicated long-time 40 Days for Life leaders was attacked at his vigil outside the Planned Parenthood in San Francisco.
Ron, who is 85 years-old, has been leading the campaign in San Francisco for years, and I have personally witnessed his joyful and compassionate approach to women seeking abortions and women who have had an abortion.
On March 19, a perpetrator approached the vigil and threw a sign, a table and pro-life literature into the street. He then knocked two men to the ground during that incident, including Ron.
On March 21, Ron was the victim of a brutal attack when the assailant returned, stole the 40 Days for Life banner, and proceeded to viciously kick Ron.
Ron tried, unsuccessfully, to stop the theft of the banner by putting a stick into the spokes of the assailant’s bicycle. Then, the perpetrator shoved Ron to the ground and began violently and repeatedly kicking him while yelling, “Stay on the ground, old man.”
The video, is raw, unedited, and disturbing. View it in the player above or visit https://youtu.be/pwqgQ6RBMOc
The attacks were reported to law enforcement, and police officers took statements from the victims. Ron was treated by paramedics at the scene. It is not clear whether a formal investigation has been launched.
Planned Parenthood allegedly has video surveillance of the area including the attacks, but it has been initially reported that they are unwilling to release the video or assist in the pending investigation.
Matt Britton, General Counsel for 40 Days for Life and a four-term elected prosecutor, said, “40 Days for Life will always support and defend its vigilant and peaceful prayer volunteers. As a former elected prosecutor, I have reviewed thousands of cases of violence, and anyone who would make such a brutal, vicious assault and robbery of an elderly, peaceful man should end up in the penitentiary where he can do no more harm. It is unconscionable that in the United States of America, law-abiding citizens are not free to peacefully express their opinions without the fear of thugs like this. I hope that the great City of San Francisco, which has so many protests of all types, recognizes and protects this basic American principle of Freedom of Speech by investigating, apprehending and punishing this shameful assailant.”
Life Legal–who has worked for years with 40 Days for Life–is representing Ron.
“The vicious attack against our elderly client is intolerable,” said Allison Aranda, Life Legal Senior Counsel and former Prosecutor of the Year. “We will pursue all legal avenues to see that justice is served and that the freedom to speak freely on the public sidewalk without threat of physical violence is protected no matter the message. As a former prosecutor, I trust that the San Francisco District Attorney’s office will pursue all legal charges against the perpetrator and bring him to justice.”
Read the full statement from 40 Days for Life General Counsel, Matt Britton and Ron’s attorneys here: https://40daysforlife.com/2019/03/25/85-year-old-pro-life-advocate-brutally-assaulted-outside-planned-parenthood-facility/
40 Days for Life has been blessed to never have an incident like this one before, and we will keep you updated on this situation. All participants should know that our local leaders are trained on how to report incidents like this. 40 Days for Life has been done in 816 cities in 56 countries by over 800,000 volunteers, and we are asking all of them to pray for the San Francisco team right now.
In a time when many in our country are advocating for infanticide, Ron serves as a faithful witness to women and the unborn. Please pray for him and know that we will report further developments.
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia Campaign Leader Mark said that Planned Parenthood used to be open six days a week. Since 40 Days for Life came to town, however, it’s down to FOUR.
In addition to that reduction in hours, Mark said Planned Parenthood has been closed unexpectedly the last two Mondays. “The pro-life community here is making a difference and looks forward to the day when we see this facility close for good.”
Mark added that the Columbia premiere of Unplanned already sold out…and there is a waiting list. “The momentum is on our side!”
“Today is a glorious day…15 children and 4 adults praying here at Planned Parenthood,” said Laurie, the campaign leader in Bremerton.
“I do believe this is a record number of children at one time,” she continued. “We already know of 2 saves here–God is so good!”
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. — Ephesians 6:12-13
Dear Lord, as you lead us into the spiritual battle of abortion may we be reminded that the battle is truly Yours. Thank you for hearing our requests for direction and protection. Thank you for the victory that is ours because of Your Son Jesus, amen