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Pro-lifers at prayer vigil in Frankfurt40 Days for Life International

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (LifeSiteNews) — A peaceful prayer vigil in front of an abortion mill was attacked by pro-abortion activists who threatened pro-lifers with large objects and screamed in their faces.

On March 1, 40 Days for Life held a prayer vigil in front of an abortion center in Frankfurt am Main where a group of approximately 20 leftist protestors approached the peaceful pro-lifers while they prayed the Rosary. According to a press release by 40 Days for Life International, some of the pro-abortion activists with hoods pulled over their heads started to harass the pro-lifers, shouting in their faces.

The protestors started to pile up “trash bins, e-scooters, and massive wooden pallets from a nearby construction site” to threaten the pro-lifers further.

“This aggressive behavior particularly intimidated and threatened the female participants of the prayer gathering, who eventually slowly retreated,” the press release states.

According to 40 Days for Life, one of the attackers was already known to the pro-lifers, as he had exposed his backside in front of a prayer vigil in the fall of 2023, where a child and several women were present.

40 Days for Life criticized the police’s slow response to emergency calls, as it took the officers about 20 minutes to arrive at the scene.

“Although suspicion of coercion, threats, incitement to hatred, insult, property damage, theft, and disruption and obstruction of a non-prohibited assembly arose, several witnesses were present, and video recordings were available, the arriving police officers refused, even after repeated polite requests from the responsible assembly leader, to file a criminal complaint or record the personal details of the disruptors and suspects still nearby,” the press release states.

According to a report by the news outlet IDEA, the police said there were “constant verbal provocations” from both sides. Tomislav Cunovic, executive director of 40 Days for Life International, told LifeSiteNews that this portrayal by local police is inaccurate.

Cunociv said that while the pro-lifers stayed in their designated areas assigned by the regulatory office of the City of Frankfurt, about 30 meters from the abortion center, the counter-protestors left the designated area of their rally and approached the pro-lifers.

According to IDEA, the pro-abortion group gathered in front of the abortion facility under the motto “fit by punching fundamentalists” (“Fit durch Fundis boxen”) and practiced “shadow boxing exercises,” a thinly veiled threat of violence towards Christian pro-lifers.

“The difference is simply that our people stood at their location, and the other side just walked over 30 meters and set up in front of our people… there may have been verbal fights there, but our people had their backs to the wall, so to speak,” Cunovic told LifeSiteNews.

He noted that 40 Days for Life would provide video and photo evidence of the attacks to the police.

“It is the public Christian testimony for life that the abortion lobby and its sympathetic political elites evidently have a problem with,” Cunovic said in a statement.

“They want to silence the Christian conscience that reminds us of the divine commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill,’” he continued.

“It is therefore particularly important to understand that the individuals praying near counseling centers or abortion facilities behave completely peacefully and lawfully. However, their opponents resort to violence, coercion, threats, and intimidation against individuals and property, in addition to misleading media campaigns, to achieve their goals.”

The pro-abortion “counseling center” where the attack took place is run by Pro Familia, the German subsidiary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

READ: Pro-life activists facing threats, violence outside Planned Parenthood in North Carolina

Growing pressure on pro-lifers in Germany

In January, the left-wing German government introduced a bill that would restrict pro-life advocacy in front of abortion mills and criminalize so-called “sidewalk harassment.”

Cunovic told LifeSiteNews that the new legislation is primarily “a big media show” because it “restricts behavior that is not permitted anyway under the current legal situation.”

However, he said that the law would be used as part of a media campaign and “psychological warfare” against pro-lifers.

Attacks like the recent one in Frankfurt by far-left groups occur on a regular basis, and the police are often needed to protect the peaceful 40 Days for Life advocates, Cunovic said.

In February, the organization announced that it would continue to assemble and pray peacefully in front of abortion facilities despite the proposed restriction and the growing pressure on pro-lifers.

READ: 40 Days for Life to continue prayer vigils outside German abortion mills despite proposed restrictions