Pepper Balls Shot While Standing Up for the Preborn in Indianapolis

Caroline Wharton - 01 May 2023
Guest post by SFLA Great Lakes Regional Coordinator Mary Carmen Zakrajsek

GUEST POST: The pro-life community in Indianapolis recently gathered outside Indiana’s third largest operating abortion vendor, Clinic for Women, in response to this dangerous facility’s plans to expand to Danville, Illinois – six miles from the Indiana-Illinois border. Clinic for Women wants to be first in line for abortion trafficking once Indiana’s near total restrictions on abortion go into effect (currently blocked by two injunctions).  

However, it’s not enough that this facility potentially closes its doors here in Indianapolis – we don’t want them to harm anyone anywhere.  

That’s why more than 50 people stood outside this facility on Saturday, April 29, urging Clinic for Women to shut down for good and never reopen. Community members are calling upon the Attorney General Rokita to investigate these dangerous abortion facilities and hold the Indiana Department of Health accountable for perceived inaction. Here’s what happened at the rally:  

Just before it started, the security guard hired by Clinic for Women was becoming highly aggressive with pro-lifers. Not only was he harassing sidewalk counselors by screaming at them and getting too close, but he was threatening to “spray them” with something from his gun. He was pressing up against one of the sidewalk counselors, preventing the male pro-lifer from doing what was well within his First Amendment rights. 

The security guard took it a step further by taking out his gun and shooting pepper balls on the ground. Pepper balls are projectile rounds that are similar to paintballs, but instead of being filled with a paint-like substance, it’s filled with a powdered form of pepper irritant known as PAVA.  

Attending ambulance

I was shocked. I’ve had eggs thrown at me before but never have been intimidated with pepper balls. The sidewalk counselors called the police, who came quickly to the scene and filed reports of what took place. An ambulance was called with EMTs to check out the sidewalk counselors for any minor irritations that were caused. While no severe harm was inflicted, this kind of behavior was egregiously wrong.  

I am inspired and grateful for these sidewalk counselors standing their ground. They are the ones on the front lines trying to save mothers and children from the destructive lies of the abortion industry. 

As I reflect on my own experience through the years, I am reminded more and more of why it’s necessary for this facility to shut down. I was a sophomore in college when I first discovered Clinic for Women. I was looking online for pregnancy centers downtown, and Clinic for Women showed up on Google Maps. I quickly learned that this was an abortion facility in the heart of downtown, and it was less than three miles from two college campuses, including my own. 

Melanie Garcia Lyon, Benjamin Ice, and Mary Carmen Zakrajsek

That same year, I started praying outside this facility with my Students for Life of America group at the time, the Marian University Knights for Life, and we tried to speak with cars going in and out of the parking lot. In my spring semester of 2019, we witnessed an ambulance called to the scene which may have been the result of a woman hemorrhaging from a botched abortion (but this is unknown). A woman was sadly escorted out on a gurney, and after the ambulance had left, a worker came out of the facility with a large trash bag to throw in the dumpster. My heart broke as I could only imagine what was in that bag. Was it the remains of her child? Was it copious amounts of blood they had to wipe up from the operating room?  

Ever since then, I have desired nothing more than for this facility to close. The abortion industry loves to hide in the dark, but we are bringing them into the light. 

Speakers at the Saturday rally included Executive Director of Voices for Life, Melanie Garcia Lyon, who spoke about documentation submitted by Clinic for Women in 2021 and 2022 revealing disturbing information – namely that on at least four abortion reports, there was no informed consent waivers filled out by the patients. Indiana law requires this. But should we be surprised that an organization who kills children for a living cuts corners?  

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you read the published health inspection reports of this abortion vendor, you will find that Clinic for Women’s history appears to show a large negligence for women’s safety and wellbeing. What kind of “healthcare facility” doesn’t sanitize vaginal probes between patients? Or disregards proper waiting times after administering sedatives, to shuttle women through like cattle? These are just some of the violations that allegedly have occurred at this facility.

(Click HERE to read The Federalist article which mentions this rally entitled “Indiana Health Dept. Sits On Records Showing Two Babies Born Alive After Abortions, Three Women Dead.”)

While we urge our Attorney General to hopefully close this business, the city council of Danville also has a chance to make this a reality. On Tuesday, May 2, they will vote on a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, preventing any abortion facility from operating within their city limits. This would halt Clinic for Women’s plans to kill preborn children in this border town and be a tremendous victory.  

Join me in contacting the Danville City Council to vote YES for LIFE. Contact their city council here and encourage them to do the right thing — protect women and children from being harmed by dangerous abortion facilities like Clinic for Women. 

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