America’s political discourse over hot-button issues continues to coarsen, as evidenced by a reported incident in Kansas this week.
According to Fox News, a teenage pro-life activist was allegedly punched in the face by a woman as she was going door-to-door canvassing.
The teen, a student named Grace Hartsock, was knocking on doors in an effort to turn out voters for a referendum Tuesday regarding abortion law. The incident took place as she was walking up to a home in Leewood, Students for Life — the group Hartsock was volunteering with — reported.
A video posted online shows an angry woman yelling expletives and walking away, but not an actual attack.
According to the teen student, a woman answered a door and then said politely that she wasn’t interested when she was told why Hartsock had stopped by, Fox News noted.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t think you want to talk to us,” the woman reportedly said.
As Hartsock turned to leave, however, another voice — that of a female — came from inside the same house, screaming and using foul language. “Don’t apologize to her, mom,” the female yelled, according to Students For Life.
Fox News adds:
The second woman, whose identity is unknown, then reportedly followed Hartsock out of the house while berating her. SFL says the woman shoved Hartsock in the chest and began striking her head with closed fists.
Hartsock weathered the blows until the woman’s mother got the daughter to stop. The woman continued yelling, however, telling Hartsock, “I hope you get raped,” and “I hope you get run over by a car,” SFL says.
The teenager was able to capture the final moments of the encounter with her phone, showing the woman back away toward the house while still hurling expletives.
The pro-life student organization reported that Hartsock has filed a complaint with the Leewood Police Department over the incident. The student did not speak to Fox News, however.
“Since she was struck, the student is experiencing headaches and body soreness, and Students for Life Action has connected her with an attorney. She and Students for Life Action are considering a legal response.” SFL spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick told the outlet.
On Tuesday, Kansas residents voted on an amendment to the state constitution that empowers the state legislature to regulate access to abortion. Kansas became the first state in the nation to hold a vote on access to the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and sent the issue back to states to decide.
The amendment, dubbed “Value Them Both,” would “affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
The vote comes around three years after the state Supreme Court ruled the Kansas constitution recognized a right to an abortion, Fox News noted.
Wednesday morning, however, several outlets reported that the amendment failed, leading the group that got the amendment put on a ballot — Value Them Both Coalition — to pledge it would continue the fight.
“This outcome is a temporary setback, and our dedicated fight to value women and babies is far from over,” the group said, according to KCTV5. “We will be back.”