May 1, 2023

SFLAction & Young, Female, Door Knocking Volunteer File Suit in Kansas to Address a Physical Assault During the Ballot Initiative


“Too often today, the violence of abortion in the womb extends to violent acts by abortion supporters,” said Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins. “In this case, a teenager sharing her love for mothers and their preborn children was attacked by an angry, adult woman, a horrific experience for the young girl that can lead to other volunteers being afraid to speak up for life. Free speech rights you can’t use, or are afraid to use, don’t really exist.”  

KANSAS CITY, KS and WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-01-2023) –Students for Life Action (SFLAction) and teenage volunteer Grace Hartsock recently filed suit against a grown woman who attacked Hartsock while door-knocking for the ‘Love Value Them Both’ Amendment in July 2022. The attacker first faced criminal charges, but Hartsock and SFLAction are engaging civilly because of separate harms.  Local attorney Rick Morefield, along with SFLA’s own legal counsel,  are representing SFLAction and Hartsock.



Further details on the assault below from SFLAction’s press release after the incident:

On Sunday, July 31st, Hartsock rang the doorbell of a home just as the SFLAction team did over 1,700 times that day in the Overland Park, KS area. After introducing herself and asking if she could count on the woman’s support for Tuesday vote, the resident replied, “No, I’m sorry I don’t think you want to talk to us.”

Hartsock recounted that as she politely thanked her for her time and began to leave the property, a female voice began yelling and cursing from inside the home. Hartsock said that she stopped momentarily to turn around to face the voice yelling expletives and heard her say, “Don’t apologize to her, Mom.” As Hartsock was turning, the yelling woman ran out the front door and began chasing her.

The woman shoved Hartsock in the chest with both hands and began hitting her in the head with closed fists. Hartsock attempted to protect herself and leave while the resident’s mother told her daughter to stop the violence.


Grace Hartsock


Hartsock told police that as she made it down the driveway to get distance from the irate pro-abortion supporter, the daughter threw a piece of food that hit her in the face, and she followed Hartsock down the street screaming curses and phrases such as, “I hope you get raped,” and “I hope you get run over by a car.” Students for Life Action’s team on the ground took Hartsock to be examined at a local Emergency Room.

As Hawkins wrote in a Newsweek op-ed, “Sadly, the public discourse is changing for the worse, as peaceful protests turn more frequently into confrontations. Threats and acts of violence against pro-life activists are becoming increasingly common. Students for Life students and team members have endured everything from physical attacks and arson to bomb threats and intimidation, making security issues a vital concern and expense for pro-life events.”

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Students for Life Action (SFLAction),a 501c4, along with its501c3sister organization,Students for Life of America (SFLA),make up the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization and a political and policy operation engaging people of all ages. Together they work to end abortion — the human rights issue of our day — and provide political, legal, and community support for women and their children, born and preborn. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA has morethan 1,300groups on middle,high school, college, university, medical, and law school campuses in all 50 states. SFLA creates strategy, policy, and programming to connect those most targeted for abortion with people ready to help and builds a framework for political engagement on their behalf. SFLA and SFLActionhave more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry than any other pro-life outreach in the world, reaching more than 2 million people across social media platforms each week and engaging in approximately 100,000 digital conversations per month. Over more than 16 years, President Kristan Hawkins has grown SFLAction/SFLA into an $18 million organization preparing for aPost-Roe America.