Marie-Claire Bissonnette, a pro-life activist, was kicked by a pro-abortion man during the peaceful “Life Chain” event held across Canada Sunday. The altercation was caught on video and brought to the attention of Canadian authorities who, Bissonnette says, initially shrugged off the assault despite the video evidence she showed them.
Bissonnette wrote in an op-ed for LifeSiteNews that the man approached her and fellow pro-life demonstrators and started vandalizing their signs.
"I warned people to shield their signs, he then proceeded to run up behind five of the participants (including a ten-year-old girl) and scribble with his markers on their backs, ruining their clothing,” she wrote.
Bissonnette says she followed him and began recording, telling him that he was destroying private property.
As the video she took shows, he then asked her about abortion in cases of rape. When she answered that a woman should keep the baby, he roundhouse kicked her in the shoulder, knocking her phone to the ground.
“In defence of his violence he claimed he’d meant to kick my phone,” she says, “and then, as a fellow Life Chain participant dialed 9-1-1, he yanked off the ribbon I’d been wearing on my chest and ran away, heading east on Bloor.”
However, when one of her fellow demonstrators called the police, Bissonnette notes that they were reluctant to help.
“I approached them and told them I was just assaulted and explained the situation. I showed them the video,” she said. “They replied, ‘What do you want us to do about it?’”
“Their apparent indifference discouraged me from pursuing the issue further so I told them I would not,” she said. “Two hours later, I started to feel pain in my shoulder where I’d been kicked and I contacted the police and filed a report with a different set of officers who were significantly more helpful.”
The man was later identified as Jordan Hunt, a hair stylist for Noble Studio 101.
In a statement on Instagram, Noble Studio 101 announced that they fired Hunt over the incident.
“It has been brought to our attention that Jordan Hunt has been caught on camera assaulting an innocent bystander at a pro-life rally,” they wrote. “We don’t condone his actions and he has been let go. We believe that everyone has a right to an opinion and the right to voice their opinion without fear of physical violence.”
A spokesman for the Toronto Police told the Daily Mail that: “A woman attended a peaceful protest in the Keele Street and Bloor Street area when an unknown man approached the protesters and was very disruptive.”
'During the interaction the man performed a roundhouse kick on the woman and fled before police attended. Her injuries were non-life-threatening,” the spokesman added. "The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.”
In her account, Bissonnette says that what happened to her is not singular or rare and that this is the sort of thing pro-lifers face everyday in Canada. She cites another pro-life woman who was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant during a Life Chain event in 2014.
Canadian pro-life organizations have faced rising hostility. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made remarks in January that pro-life groups are "not in line" with society.
“An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion and the right for women to control their own bodies is not in line with where we are as a government, and quite frankly where we are as a society,” he said at the time.