Grace Hartsock, 18, was volunteering with the pro-life group Students for Life on Sunday when she was attacked in a Kansas neighborhood while participating in the organization’s door-to-door campaign.
Hartsock was in Leawood, Kansas, canvassing on behalf of the “Value Them Both” amendment that goes before Kansas voters on Tuesday. This amendment would amend the Kansas Constitution so it “does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.”
About two hours into knocking on doors, Hartsock knocked on one door that was opened by a woman who, after hearing why Hartsock was there, apologized and told her that she wasn’t interested.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t think you want to talk to us,” the woman told Hartsock.
Hartsock respected the woman’s decision and began to walk away from the door when she reportedly overheard the woman’s 37-year-old daughter cursing from inside the house and saying “Don’t apologize to her, mom.”
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The daughter then emerged from the house, approached Hartsock, and began assaulting her. The woman first shoved Hartsock in the chest, then began punching her in the head with a closed fist as Hartsock tried to block the punches and get away. It was also reported that the woman told the 18-year-old, “I hope you get raped” and “I hope you get hit by a car.”
As the assailant started walking back up the driveway into the house, Hartsock was able to start recording on her phone, catching the woman flipping her off and saying “F*** you.”
The mom, who came down the driveway towards the altercation, seems to tell her daughter to “stop it.”
Kristi Hamrick, a Students for Life spokeswoman, reported that after the attack, Hartsock “is experiencing headaches and body soreness.” Hamrick also indicated that the teen has been connected with an attorney and that “she and Students for Life are considering a legal response.”
The press specialist and online editor for SFL, Dana Stancavage, was in Kansas with the other volunteers at the time of the attack. Stancavage expressed her shock in an interview with the Christian Post, saying, “[It’s] astonishing because it’s never been something we’ve experienced to this extent.”
“A lot of people have been receptive,” Stancavage added, “which makes this particular incident very surprising.”
Stancavage also reported that Hartsock did not suffer a concussion or “any sort of physical injury” from this attack, and was, fortunately, able to return to her volunteer work the following day.