Update December 23, 2021: The woman featured in this article has now been arrested and charged with battery.
PENSACOLA, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life activist was recently assaulted outside an abortion center in Florida during a witness in defense of the unborn.
Tom Messe, a LifeSiteNews donor, was assaulted while taking part in a pro-life demonstration in Pensacola on December 11. A woman approached the group, took one of their signs, and began hitting Messe with it, causing his phone to fall out of his hands. The encounter, which was caught on video, is currently being investigated by police.
Messe told LifeSiteNews that he and a group of likeminded Christians demonstrate in front of the abortion clinic in Pensacola every Saturday. Messe was filming the demonstration when the woman began approaching the group from across the abortion center parking lot.
“We’ve got an unhappy situation here,” Messe can be heard saying to two of the other pro-life demonstrators as the woman approaches.
The woman can be heard cursing as she increases her pace towards the pro-lifers. Upon arrival, she pulls out of the ground one of their signs, which reads “Abortion is a sin”, and proceeds to hit Messe with it.
“Call 9-1-1,” shouts Messe to his fellow pro-lifers, as he picks up his phone and retreats slightly to distance himself from the attacker.
Shortly after, the woman turns and walks quickly across the parking lot, with Messe following at a distance while trying to operate his phone.
Messe told LifeSiteNews that the police have interviewed the woman, and that “the suspect confessed to assault” and formal charges are likely to be laid shortly.
Messe, who informed LifeSiteNews that he has been doing pro-life work for 20 years, is no stranger to assault and attacks from those on the pro-abortion side.
Messe told LifeSiteNews that back in 2019 he was “shoved and chased with sticks” by a man during one of his demonstrations, and the suspect ended up being convicted in a trial by jury and sentenced to three months in jail.
In another incident in 2019, Messe accused a security guard of stalking him, and while no jail-time was imposed, a court ordered the guard to “stay away” from Messe for six months.
While instances of assault and harassment are few and far between, Messe explained that insults or inappropriate gestures are commonplace during his demonstrations. However, he did mention that the response from the public is usually “50/50” positive and negative, and for the many “middle fingers” there are also “many thumbs ups.”
The pro-life movement has been making significant strides in the American political system in recent months. With the imposition of the Texas Heartbeat Act, and the Jackson v. Dobbs case being argued in front of the Supreme Court, many pro-lifers are hopeful that the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which determined that women have the legal “right” to abort their children, will be overturned or severely limited in the coming months.
Nevertheless, the prevalence of abortion, particularly in the last 50 to 100 years, has already been determined to have had a permanent and devastating impact both in America and abroad.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews in 2014, Thomas Jacobson of Global Life Campaign, carefully tracked all actual reported numbers of international abortions from 1920 forward and found that the total has exceeded 1 billion since that time. This disturbing finding led Jacobson to state that abortion is “the greatest genocide in history.”