Group says teen hit while protesting at Planned Parenthood
ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- The group, Students for Life of America, says one of its members was hit while protesting outside Planned Parenthood in Roanoke on Saturday.
Another group member was there to record the incident. In just three days, the video already had more than 83,000 views on Facebook.
Viewers can't see what led up to the incident, but in the video, somebody appears to walk up to a protester with Students for Life of America.
It looks as if the girl was hit. She takes several steps back, then walks out of the shot.
Students for Life of America identified her as 15 year old Purity Thomas.
Executive Vice President of Programs, Tina Whittington, says Thomas got a mild concussion during the incident.
She said, "Because I am a mother of teenagers, I think it first maybe just one astounded that this actually happened and then outraged that anyone would strike a minor."
Whittington says protesters are taught to record all incidents of altercations.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has issued a statement about the incident, saying the person involved was not a staff member. So far, the alleged assailant has not been identified.
Planned Parenthood says they have a strict non-engagement policy when it comes to people protesting.
The statement, from Paige Johnson, the Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, goes on to say "Oppositional protests are designed to intimidate the many patients who seek basic health care services from Planned Parenthood."
It closes, saying "The health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority, and Planned Parenthood has strong security measures in place to ensure that our health centers are safe, supportive and welcoming environments for all people to get the high-quality health care they need.”
Students for Life of America says that Thomas did fill out a police report about the incident, but as of yet hasn't decided if she wants to move forward with charges.
Roanoke Police did not respond to any calls or emails about this incident.