Being physically assaulted is a price the pro-life generation is willing to pay to rescue a child from abortion and serve women with a message of hope.
That’s the position 15-year-old Purity Thomas has taken in the wake of a violent assault she experienced Saturday at the hands of a Planned Parenthood client – an attack that left with her with a concussion.
In what some may see as an unlikely twist, it also left Thomas with a renewed resolve to keep coming back to her local Planned Parenthood facility to pray and counsel.
Thomas was praying outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Roanoke, Virginia, when a woman became enraged and began threatening Thomas and her teenage friends with violence.
“What are you gonna do when I beat you all up, when I f--- you all up?” the woman asked before hurling a punch at Thomas’ face that knocked her over and caused a concussion. And it was all caught on camera. Thomas was treated at a nearby hospital.
Unlike those in the abortion movement, Thomas recognizes the inherent dignity in every human being – including violent individuals like her own assailant, whom she has forgiven.
Thomas says she’ll be back this Saturday to pray and counsel, as she does every weekend.
“I think it encouraged me and spurred me to continue my pro-life work,” she told us after the attack. “I know that there’s always a possibility to save a baby’s life and the woman from the violence of abortion. That is more important than my own well-being.”
And Thomas isn’t alone in that thought. It’s that indomitable combination of courage and compassion that makes the whole pro-life generation so extraordinary; in fact, it’s why they’re winning.
It is this profound conviction to stand up for innocent pre-born children and the women Planned Parenthood betrays that causes young people to disregard the personal cost to themselves.
This conviction drives them to Washington in the dead of winter by the hundreds of thousands – often at their own expense – to march for life.
This conviction brings them back to the same abortion facility weekend after weekend, rain or snow, to extend hope to an often thankless and sometimes hostile stream of clients and employees.
It’s the same conviction that emboldens even the most non-confrontational personalities to spearhead pro-life demonstrations on campus.
This conviction is found on college and high school campuses nationwide, where we at Students for Life are seeing an increase in efforts to block pro-life speech and prevent pro-life displays.
The opposition to our efforts comes from administrators who don’t respect the First Amendment rights of students, from professors, and even from fellow students. Yet in the face of often organized contempt, courageous students keep coming back to advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Holding fast to pro-life convictions despite being mocked, ridiculed, and even physically assaulted is heroism. It’s tenacity. It’s the kind of drive that compelled past generations to refuse to leave the lunch counter or give up a seat on the bus as they fought racism. It’s the kind of drive that changes the course of history.
And that’s the difference between the pro-life generation and the Planned Parenthood generation. Young people like Purity Thomas prove that love and life will win in our nation – that love and life are winning in our nation.