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Video showing attack on elderly pro-lifer released

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, April 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Surveillance footage showing the attack on an elderly pro-life witness in Kentucky has been released.

Veteran pro-life activist Donna Durning was outside the E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center on April 13 when she offered a card with post-abortion information to a younger woman coming out of the business. The video footage shows the woman pausing on her way to a waiting car before turning around, walking toward Durning and then pushing the older woman until she and the card fell to the sidewalk.  

“She turned and looked at me,” Durning told LifeSiteNews from her hospital bed last week, “and I gave her a sweet little card. ... I said, ‘Honey, this is for you; if you want to talk to somebody, there’s a phone number there.’ She grabbed me by both shoulders and literally threw me to the ground.”

Without looking back, the assailant got into the passenger side of the car, which then drove away.

The screams of Durning’s fellow pro-life witnesses were captured by the footage.  

A subsequent medical examination revealed that Durning had a broken thigh bone and a cut on her head. She was taken to Louisville’s Baptist Health Hospital, where her femur was reconstructed.

Durning, who has witnessed outside the E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center almost every day for 23 years, is now undergoing therapy at the Nazareth Home rehabilitation center.   

“I’m improving day by day,” Durning told LifeSiteNews this morning. She expects to leave rehab on Saturday and stay in her sister’s ranch-style house, because she cannot yet climb her own staircase.

Although her assailant and the driver of the car have been identified, Durning is reluctant to jeopardize the case by saying too much too soon.

“We are going to prosecute this woman who injured me,” she said. “She needs to face the consequences of her actions.”

Vince Heuser, a pro-life lawyer based in Louisville, told LifeSiteNews that the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office is now considering whether or not to bring changes against Durning’s assailant and, if so, which charges to bring.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were reluctant to confirm that Durning was attacked outside the clinic. Only after Durning’s family provided the Courier-Journal reporter with the case number and a detective’s name would police “confirm the incident’s date, time, location and officers involved.”

A local abortion lobbyist, Marcie Crim, executive director of the Kentucky Health Justice, used the attack on the pro-life witness as an excuse to push for the idea of a “bubble zone” to keep people away from the E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center.

Reflecting on the group’s failure to get authorities in Louisville to impose one, Crim told the Courier-Journal that she doesn’t see why they don’t.

"I don’t understand why the city would want to continue to allow people to be put in harm’s way," Crim said. "I don’t understand why the city would want to look the other way when there’s the potential for violence."

"If there was a safety zone, then no one would be able to get hurt," she added.

The E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center is the last abortion business in Kentucky.  

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