A 31-year-old woman from Louisville has been charged with second-degree assault after she allegedly shoved an elderly pro-life activist to the ground outside Kentucky’s only abortion clinic.
But the victim, 82-year-old pro-life activist Donna Durning, told the Louisville Courier Journal she has forgiven her alleged attacker, Janaya Alyce Gregory, and is asking others to pray for her.
“I believe that the lady who caused this injury needs prayers,” Durning said, “and I’m forgiving her and I would hope that people would also pray for her.”
Gregory, for her part, pleaded not guilty last week to the incident, which took place April 12 outside the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, according to court documents.
As a result of the assault, Durning sustained a broken femur. She required surgery and rehabilitation in order to recover from the incident. Durning said she is confident “God is watching over me.”
Durning recounted the assault, telling the Courier Journal the woman “grabbed me by both of my shoulders and she simply, really, pitched me across the sidewalk.” The pro-life activist said she landed on her left side, on her left arm and her head.
Surveillance footage of the encounter, which was captured by cameras belonging to the next-door crisis pregnancy center, BSideU, depicted a woman rushing to the back of the car Gregory entered after shoving Durning. The woman took down the burgundy car’s license plate number, which ultimately led police to Gregory.
Durning, who has volunteered as a pro-life “sidewalk counselor” five days a week for nearly 25 years, is now recuperating at one of her sister’s homes and is able to walk with the assistance of a walker.
“This is a very, very serious offense,” she said. “We can’t just let this fly by.”
Not long after this incident, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims (D) broadcast himself last week as he harassed another pro-life woman praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Sims mocked and belittled the woman, often shoving his mobile phone in her face. He continued for a little more than eight minutes, frequently repeating, “Shame on you.”
His harassment of the woman quickly went viral, sparking the ire of many pro-life activists on social media. Sims’ actions against the woman even prompted conservative columnist Matt Walsh to organize a pro-life rally outside the Pennsylvania abortion clinic.
The rally has been endorsed by Live Action founder Lila Rose as well as former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, the subject of Pure Flix’s latest movie, “Unplanned.” Both women plan to attend the event.
It is scheduled to take place Friday at 11 a.m. outside the Planned Parenthood clinic at 1144 Locus Street in Philadelphia.