Protesters were pepper-sprayed during a confrontation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Walnut Creek, California, according to NBC News.
Anti-abortion group 40 Days for Life arrived with armed security guards and clashed with counter-protesters in front of the building on Tuesday. The anti-abortion group said its charge is to “end the injustice of abortion.”
“It was like a war zone out there,” a Walnut Creek resident, Trevor Henrich, told NBC News. “I was shocked that it happened.”
A 25-year-old real estate agent and counter-protester said she was shocked to see protesters come to the demonstration with their own armed guards.
Lacey Brown wrote on Facebook, “Today, along with @amyemeraldink @trevorhenrichphoto and Zero, I got maced in the face by private security hired by the “pro-life” @40daysforlife.official Catholics. Not one of us put hands on or made physical contact of any kind with the pro-life protestors OR their private security that were refusing us access to the public sidewalk. Several of us were blinded for an extended time, and I am covered in chemical burns across my skin.”
A Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson announced police are investigating the incident.
“The City of Walnut Creek and its Police Department take seriously the right of people to peacefully protest, regardless of the position protestors hold,” according to a City Hall statement on Wednesday, NBC News reported. “The City and PD also support the right of people to seek safe access to health care facilities, and will work to ensure the safety of patients, protestors and counter-protestors alike.”
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