Pro-lifer punched in front of Supreme Court day after Amy Coney Barrett nomination

Autumn Schimmer, Communications and Market Manager for Students for Life Action, appears at a protest in support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, Sept. 27, 2020.
Autumn Schimmer, Communications and Market Manager for Students for Life Action, appears at a protest in support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, Sept. 27, 2020. | Students for Life

A pro-life protestor demonstrating in support of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was allegedly punched in the face by a pro-abortion activist in front of the Supreme Court Building on Sunday in Washington D.C. 

Video footage captured by Breitbart documented the dueling demonstrations in front of the Supreme Court that took place less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump selected the 48-year-old 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Abortion rights protesters called their demonstration opposing Barrett’s nomination the “No Confirmation Before Inauguration.” Meanwhile, Students for Life of America held a counterprotest in favor of Barrett. The counterprotest featured members of the group’s “SCOTUS Squad.”

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According to Students for Life, a network of pro-life student groups with chapters on college and high school campuses across the country, pro-life demonstrators were vastly outnumbered by pro-abortion protesters by a margin of 95% to 5% on Sunday. 

A picture posted on the Students for Life Twitter page showed that some pro-abortion demonstrators were not pleased about the presence of the pro-life group. 

About an hour into the video, Autumn Schimmer, the communications and market manager for Students for Life Action, can be seen conversing with a woman as a nearby pro-life protester chanted “Pro-life is human rights!” 

At the same time, a pro-abortion protester was yelling “women’s rights are human rights!”

“I was approached by a pro-choice woman who wanted to have a conversation about what feminism means to me,” Schimmer recalled in a statement. “I told her that women are not empowered when they kill their own children, and we need to do better.”

“After that, she was getting more aggressive,” Schimmer continued. “I took a step back to return to my group. She approached me and punched me in the face and ripped off my face mask. This is very upsetting. Being attacked by a pro-choicer just shows that the violence of abortion breeds a culture of violence and normalizes it.”

Breitbart caught up with Schimmer after the incident, who told the videographer: “I’m okay. But this just shows that the left is okay with violence and why are we okay with violence?”

While the Breitbart video did not catch the attack as it happened, it appears to have taken place at about the 1:02:45 mark of the recording. 

At this time, Schimmer was holding a sign that read “Trust Pro-Life Women” accompanied by the hashtag #Justice4Life and the Students for Life Twitter handle. The other side of her sign read: “I can’t believe these ‘feminists’ are protesting a woman. Approve her now.”

Seconds later, the woman she was conversing with was shown walking away. 

Schimmer, who said she lives in Chicago, described the woman who punched her as a “coward” in her exchange with Breitbart. 

“She was mad that I didn’t respond to one of her questions and when I was chanting with one of my co-workers, she hit me in the face and told me that I was not willing to have a conversation,” Schimmer recalled. 

After the attack, other pro-life protesters tended to a visibly shaken Schimmer, whose mask was removed. Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins announced via Twitter Sunday that “the assault was reported to the police and the assailant was identified.”

The attack on the pro-life demonstrator is not a unique incident. 

A report compiled by the pro-life website Life News reports that more than 100 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment targetted pro-life advocates in 2019. The website listed over 40 examples of vandalism and attacks against pro-life and conservative groups that have taken place so far in 2020. 

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