September 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Peaceful pro-life demonstrators were violently attacked on Saturday morning during a prayer meeting at the entrance of a Parisian hospital.
About 30 pro-lifers, separated into two groups because of a massive counter-demonstration, were pelted with eggs, and several banners and other personal effects were stolen. A freelance photographer who arrived on the scene later was attacked by two or three persons who tried to snatch her camera; she was protected by the police.
Additionally, a group of pro-lifers arriving by car was assaulted by the crowd, who pounded on their vehicle and attempted to force open the doors before being warded off by security forces.
The pro-abortion demonstrators shouted angry or blasphemous slogans in defense of the right to abortion, praising Judas, and even promising the pro-lifers “two planks and three nails.”
The smallest group of seven pro-lifers spent about 45 minutes on a small band of sidewalk with their backs to the hospital railings and separated from the counter-demonstrators by riot police. The police charged twice to prevent the counter-demonstrators from closing in. The pro-life group was then moved several hundred yards, but refused to go any further despite the police telling them that their safety could not be guaranteed.
“Babies are being killed in this hospital, we can well take a few risks,” said Dr. Xavier Dor, the leader of the group. The group was able to pray a full rosary before leaving the scene under police protection.
Tenon is a large public hospital where about 500 legal abortions were performed every year up till 2009. However, the mayoress of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, socialist Frédérique Calandra, reacted favorably to pressure from a pro-abortion coalition to negotiate for abortions to resume at Tenon, and in April of this year the service re-opened.
Pro-abortion groups who pushed for the resumption of abortions include Planned Parenthood, local feminist groups, extreme left-wing groups and parties, communist, socialist and Green parties, several trade unions and official “antiracist” groups such as the “Ligue des droits de l’homme” (Human Rights League).
The Catholic pro-life group “SOS Tout-petits” (SOS Tiny ones), dedicated to peaceful and prayerful monthly demonstrations near public hospitals and private clinics where abortions are performed in a number of French towns, has decided to hold a series of prayer meetings at Tenon this fall, starting Saturday.
A law against pro-life protesting outside abortion facilities was adopted in 1993, and a 2001 amendment added heavy sanctions for “moral and psychological” pressure against abortion.
Dr. Xavier Dor, SOS Tout-petit’s founder and president, has spent several weeks in prison for his peaceful protests; however, when fines ran up too high the group decided to organize its prayerful demonstrations outside hospital properties. Their current protest activities are legal, as was the case last Saturday.
The group has promised to return to Tenon on October 15th.
Speaking to LifeSiteNews, Dr. Dor stressed that the fight against abortion is “eschatological,” as the slogans and attitudes of the pro-abortionists show. He also noted that for the last twelve years in Paris, there has been no violent and visible opposition to SOS Tout-petits’ protests. He said that the well-organized and violent reaction to last Saturday’s event shows that things are changing and that the force of prayer is taken very seriously, even when only a handful of people gather to say the Rosary for the victims of abortion: “the child, but also the mother,” and for those who commit the crime.
Dr. Dor is a former pediatrician and embryologist, a frail and very gentle person, almost blind, who this reporter once witnessed being accused in a court of justice by a Planned Parenthood lawyer of having used “violence” because he gave knitted baby socks to a woman who intended to have an abortion.