Some young people from Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s campaign were greeted with violence when they showed up at a protest organized by Planned Parenthood over Arizona’s expected post-Roe v. Wade abortion laws at the Arizona State Capitol on May 3 to engage in civil conversations with the demonstrators. Two student staffers who coordinate Students for Kari and a student intern were hit, scratched, shoved, spit on, and pushed into vans, they told The Arizona Sun Times. Some of it was caught on video, including the spitting.
We believe that everybody has the right to life. Yesterday we went to the capitol to have conversations about how Kari Lake believes in defending the rights of the unborn. This is how the tolerant left reacted:#prolife #prochoice #roevwade #life #karizona @KariLake pic.twitter.com/ETuOgDgLEF
— Students for Kari (@StudentsForKari) May 5, 2022
Andorra Blattner, data director for the campaign, who can be seen in the second half of the video in a bright red shirt, told The Sun Times “they told me that my mom should have aborted me, and since she didn’t, I should kill myself.” Protesters pushed her, tripped her, and ripped her sign “Unborn Lives Matter” out of her hands. One woman with extremely long nails kept poking them in her face, almost hitting her in the eye. The protesters called her profane words used to demean women.
Matthew Martinez, the field director for the campaign, told The Sun Times that the protesters yelled at him, saying, “Why are you a Republican if you’re brown? Turncoat.” He said the protesters scratched him, stole his Lake hat, and slapped his phone out of his hand. He gave The Sun Times a photo of red scratch marks on his arm.
Both Blattner and Martinez said the protesters went after a young man named Jack the most aggressively, spitting on him. He is seen in the video yelling “they spit in my face and took my hat!” The spit can be seen glistening on his cheek. When Jack confronted the activist, she admitted it and said she would do it again. She is caught on the video spitting again on him. The students told The Sun Times as soon as she is identified, they will likely be pressing assault charges.
At one point, the protesters slammed Jack into the ABC-15 van, and one of the ABC-15 employees shoved him back out. One or two of the protesters groped and grinded on Jack.
On the video, a protester is seen screaming “no right to be talking about women’s rights when you’re a man, a white man at that!” Another can be heard yelling “Shut the f*** up, pig!”
Martinez estimated that there were about 200 protesters at the event, which began at 5 p.m. Martinez, whose small group showed up about 6 p.m., said that once they brought out their signs, the protesters came at them. He said the crowd started dissipating after about an hour, but the remaining 20-25 activists menacingly surrounded the members of the pro-life group, who left due to the threat of further violence against them.
Arizona already has a very old law on the books, ARS 13-3603, that bans all abortions except to save the mother’s life. The law can only be enforced against the provider (a previous part of the bill criminalizing the mother’s actions was repealed last year). It has been ignored since Roe v. Wade became law in 1973, but may likely be enforced again when the Supreme Court’s expected opinion overruling it is issued.
Arizona is considered the most pro-life state in the country, according to a 2019 report from Americans United for Life, and the reproductive health journal Contraception said it would be the state most likely to quickly enact restrictions banning all abortion after Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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