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Elderly pro-lifers viciously assaulted while praying outside Planned Parenthood


“It is important to note that the two victims were not robbed. This was a vicious attack on two men because they are pro-life. This should be treated as a hate crime and denounced….”


Two pro-life protesters were savagely attacked outside an abortion facility in Baltimore as politically and religiously motivated attacks show no signs of stopping, leaving many to ask: Will the Department of Justice do anything to stop them?

Quick Facts

Mark Crosby, 73, and fellow pro-life advocate Dick Schaefer, 80,  were praying outside a Baltimore Planned Parenthood when they were brutally assaulted. Security footage shows a man walked up to the group outside the abortion clinic and had a “visibly aggressive conversation” with Schaefer. There were a number of witnesses. One witness told police that the conversation was about abortion,  specifically “their ideas about pro-life and pro-choice viewpoints.”

The police statement explains:

“The suspect is then observed about to turn away, but rushes at Mr. Schaefer and tackles him over a large flowerpot. The video then shows Mr. Crosby running over to assist, and the suspect turns and shoves him down with both hands. The video continues and shows the suspect strike Mr. Crosby in the face with a closed fist as Mr. Crosby is on his back on the ground. The suspect is then observed standing up and, with extreme force, kicks Mr. Crosby directly in the face.”

Pro-life activist John Roswell told LifeSite News that Crosby’s “plate bone in his upper-right cheek is completely fractured.” Roswell added that Crosby had “bleeding from some unidentified area behind his eye and the bone eye orbit is completely shattered and will have to be replaced with metal.”

A picture shows Crosby with a large protrusion above his eye, his eye swollen shut, and blood running down his face and down his “Pro-Life” shirt.

Crosby also suffered a large hematoma, bleeding in the eye, and head and neck pain. He was rushed to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center for treatment.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help pay Crosby’s medical costs.

Jay Walton, president of the Baltimore County Right to Life, wrote in a statement that the attack was political and should be treated as such, explaining,

“It is important to note that the two victims were not robbed. This was a vicious attack on two men because they are pro-life. This should be treated as a hate crime and denounced by Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D), as well as Maryland Governor Wes Moore (D). Their silence on this attack will continue to put pro-lifers in danger throughout the state of Maryland.”

The two pro-life advocates were beaten at a time when attacks and threats against pro-life pregnancy centers and churches are taking place all over the U.S. Since the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson draft opinion in May 2022 showing the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe v. Wade, there have been 87 attacks, including firebombings, on crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations, as well as 160 attacks on Catholic churches.

At the center of the issue has been the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which have inexplicably focused most of their law enforcement efforts on targeting pro-lifers for praying outside of abortion clinics. The DOJ has so far only charged four individuals for attacks on pro-life organizations and churches, including two pro-abortion protestors who were finally indicted for vandalism in January 2023.

Those first two arrests and indictments took place after nearly nine months and more than 100 attacks on pro-life groups and churches. At the same time, the DOJ has been eager to charge pro-life protestors for alleged violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act), which is supposed to protect pro-life pregnancy centers and churches, in addition to abortion clinics.

The most well-known of these charges came when the FBI sent a large team of agents with guns drawn to arrest pro-life protestor Mark Houck, hauling him away after beating on his door early in the morning and frightening his family. The arrest of Houck, who was later acquitted by a Philadelphia jury, was widely condemned given the absurd nature of the charges.

The FBI has also sought to infiltrate Catholic churches, targeting so-called radical extremist Catholics who prefer the traditional Latin mass. This led U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to call in FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

But it isn’t just Christian and conservative pro-life activists who are being targeted. Members of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a left-wing group, have also been charged under the FACE Act. Members of the group were arrested after they went to a D.C. abortion clinic where a transport driver gave them a box that was about to be taken to Curtis Bay Medical Waste Facility. Inside the box, as the activists later discovered, were the deceased bodies of 110 first-trimester and 5 third-trimester babies. To this point, the DOJ has not shown any signs of investigating the killing of the five premature-sized babies. Instead, the FBI has charged three of the activists, while FBI agents showed up at the home of the mother of a PAAU activist who was not involved with discovery of the babies.

The Department of Justice has shown it is not impartial on this issue. Until it pursues those who harm pro-life protestors, crisis pregnancy centers, and churches with the same gusto that it pursues innocent dads protecting their children and pro-lifers praying peacefully, these attacks will continue and likely get more violent, as seen in Baltimore.

These elderly men were praying and exercising their constitutional right to free speech, the free exercise of religion, and freedom of assembly, but they were targeted specifically because they hold different beliefs than the suspect. This is a hate crime and needs to be treated that way. And the DOJ needs to come out and directly warn of the threat by pro-abortion terrorists and violent offenders.

As Christians, we must realize that we are no longer living in a predominantly Christian nation. In fact, we now live in a nation filled with hatred towards Christ. When we voice or act on His Word, some may respond with violence and hostility. Jesus warned His followers they would be persecuted for His Name’s sake. He also told them to consider it a blessing. Matthew 5:10-12 states,

“‘Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’”

As Christians face attacks from those who hate us because of Christ, we must also show His love by praying for them and sharing the Gospel message. Do not be intimidated, but instead keep speaking the truth and keep standing up for the unborn — as Crosby and Schaefer say they will continue to do in person at the Baltimore Planned Parenthood.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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