A 26-year-old hair stylist has been charged after video footage of a woman being kicked at a pro-life protest went viral.
Marie-Claire Bissonnette, 27, was protesting against abortion at the annual Life Chain march in Toronto, Canada, on 30 September when she confronted a man who was allegedly defacing pro-life signs with a marker pen, Life Site News reports.
Shocking footage shows a man asking the activists whether abortion would be justified in instances of rape before he appears to kick the person filming the incident on their phone. The footage is blurred as the phone falls to the ground in the commotion while a man can be heard saying 'I meant to kick your phone' and another shouts 'Someone call the cops'.
A Toronto police report identified the man as Jordan Hunt and stated that he has been charged with eight counts of assault and seven counts of mischief under $5,000.
The complaint filed with the police alleges that the activist was kicked in the shoulder and had a campaign ribbon torn from them.
Fox News reports that Hunt has since lost his job after being identified in video footage that has been viewed over four million times on YouTube.
A separate charge has also been levelled against Hunt over allegations that he pushed a woman into a pole during another pro-life demonstration earlier in the summer.
Life Site News reports that he has been released on bail. Writing about her experience for the news site, Bissonnette said that acts of violence against pro-lifers were not rare and that on the same day, another activist had had paint poured over him as he had been praying peacefully.
'I've participated in many public pro-life activities throughout my life. This isn't the first time I've been attacked,' she said.
'Rocks have been thrown at me. I've been spat upon multiple times and pushed. Men have aggressively asked how I would like it if they raped me and forced me to have an abortion.
'There is a media-driven narrative that pro-life activists are violent and a danger to women. This is a bald-faced lie. The only violence or aggression I've witnessed in my many years in the pro-life movement comes entirely from pro-abortion activists, and yet it's rarely, if ever, reported.'