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Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries Brian Gibson was physically assaulted outside of the Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, MN last Friday morning after defending a female sidewalk counselor from verbal assault. The attacker was apparently the father of a child being aborted that day.
The man was waiting outside smoking during his girlfriend’s or wife’s abortion appointment when Ann, a pro-life sidewalk counselor, offered him pro-life literature.
“He walked over toward Ann and began to verbally assault her with high doses of profanity,” Gibson explains. “I was standing on the other side of the driveway apron and called out to him in defense of Ann. I made a gentle, yet firm request that he stop talking to her that way.”
Gibson’s intervention drew the man’s attention to him. “I stood calmly as he leaned down into my face screaming his anger at me. I told him it was wrong to speak as he did to Ann. It was at this point he punched me in the chest with an open hand.”
But he did not retaliate. “I made sure I kept from making any moves that could be construed as aggressive as he continued to barrage me verbally.”
The man struck him a second time. “This time I told him the police would be called.” The man then backed off and started to walk away.
“When he [started] walking back up the long driveway to reenter Planned Parenthood, I told him that he needed to open his heart to God and that God could deliver him from his anger. I made sure he was a good 30 feet away from me before telling him that.”
Gibson called the police, who eventually arrived after some delay. “It took the police a little time to get there, having a busy morning with calls. The officers were very professional and between the witnesses outside and Planned Parenthood’s ‘security’ cameras, they charged the man with 5th degree assault.”
“The fact that Planned Parenthood personnel, who regularly monitor us via their security cameras, made no appearance while this happened did not escape my attention.”
Gibson gives credit to God for his level-headed handling of the situation. “God’s grace was all over me during this. Not only did I not react to be swatted at, I was surprisingly calm throughout the entire incident. I had just finished praying with Fr. Grabner and a couple others when this happened.”
Jesus taught in his Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5.10-11)
Founded in 1981, Pro-Life Action Ministries is “an interdenominational, Christian organization dedicated to publicly defending the sanctity of human life, and saving lives from abortion, infanticide and euthanasia now through peaceful direct-action and educational projects.” Their website says they have saved the lives of 87 children this year and 2897 since 1981.