ACLJ Represents Two Elderly Pro-Lifers Who Were Brutally Beaten Unconscious by Pro-Abortion Radical While Peacefully Standing in Front of Planned Parenthood in Baltimore


Jordan Sekulow

June 1, 2023

6 min read

Pro Life



As we announced on our radio show, the ACLJ is now proudly representing two elderly men, Mark Crosby (73) and Dick Schaefer (84), who were brutally attacked and beaten unconscious by a pro-abortion radical on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Dick Schaefer is a long-time sidewalk counselor who regularly goes to Planned Parenthood in Baltimore to stand outside and speak peacefully with and hand out literature to passersby. On occasion, he also hands out small gifts for women visiting Planned Parenthood and encourages them to visit the Pregnancy Resource Center next door to Planned Parenthood to learn more about real choices.

Mr. Schaefer has a regular “shift” in front of Planned Parenthood, five days a week, every week of the year, for two hours each day. For this reason, he is quite familiar with the people who work at Planned Parenthood and the general routine of the place. On May 26, Mr. Schaefer showed up for his regular shift and was soon joined by Mark Crosby, another dedicated pro-life advocate who regularly stands in front of Planned Parenthood.

On May 26, Mr. Schaefer took a position on the sidewalk next to the Planned Parenthood so he could speak with pedestrians and people in cars passing by, while Mr. Crosby held a sign and stood in front of Planned Parenthood. Three Planned Parenthood volunteers (“escorts”) were also present. Everything went as usual until about 10:15 a.m. when Mr. Schaefer was approached by a large man – about 6'2'' – who stopped to chat with him. The man spoke in a loud and animated manner but was not overly hostile. He objected to Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Crosby standing outside Planned Parenthood on the grounds that “God gave everyone free choice” and “God is all merciful. Everyone is forgiven, so what are you doing here?” The man indicated he saw no reason for people who oppose abortion to encourage women wanting to get an abortion to seek other alternatives.

Mr. Schaefer spoke with the man for a few minutes before feeling that there was nothing to be gained by speaking with him further, as he felt the man was more interested in using rote and phony talking points than in having a real conversation. Mr. Schaefer decided to shift his attention back to other people passing by and turned around to grab some more pamphlets from a box he had brought with him.

At that moment, everything changed. Mr. Schaefer had only turned around for a moment when he felt like he was hit by a truck – in fact, he believed that he had been hit by a truck. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground with dirt all over him, everything was fuzzy, and there were two ambulances and some police cars present. He immediately looked around for Mr. Crosby, concerned that he, too, had been hit by the truck he believed had hit him, but Mr. Crosby was nowhere in sight. What Mr. Schaefer didn’t realize was that he had been attacked from behind and knocked unconscious by the man he had turned away from.

Mr. Crosby, who had been standing 40 feet away in the street, witnessed the attack on Mr. Schaefer. He watched as the man looked around him before charging Mr. Schaefer and slamming him into a concrete planter that stood outside Planned Parenthood’s window. In fact, Mr. Crosby has stated that he believes the planter is all that saved Mr. Schaefer from crashing through the glass window of Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Crosby immediately went to the aid of Mr. Schaefer when the same man turned on him, striking him in the face, knocking him to the ground, and then kicking him in the head. Mr. Crosby was also knocked unconscious. Both men sustained extensive injuries. Mr. Schaefer had cuts and scrapes all over his body, as well as a cut on his hand that required special bandaging. Mr. Crosby sustained traumatic injuries to his head, including a fractured bone in his face, blindness in one eye, head and neck pain, two fractured fingers, and bruising on his arms and legs. Mr. Crosby will likely require several surgeries on his face.

After attacking the two men, the suspect walked away from the scene and is still at large.

The Baltimore police are investigating this incident, and the ACLJ is stepping in to help Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Crosby obtain justice.

This vicious and horrific attack must not be allowed to go unpunished. Violence against pro-life advocates and entities has spiked since the Supreme Court rightly overturned Roe v. Wade, and it will only continue to do so unless action is taken to stop it.

Indeed, it was in Maryland that Supreme Court Justice Kavanagh’s home was attacked in an effort to assassinate him because of the leaked draft opinion of Dobbs. Across the country, pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers and churches have been attacked and vandalized – even firebombed (there’s more) – because of their pro-life stance against abortion.

Abortion is a horrific and violent act against the most innocent and vulnerable of all – preborn children. It is no surprise that abortion extremists resort to violence to shut down any voice that stands in opposition.

It is imperative now, more than ever, that the pro-life movement stand firm and fight back against this onslaught of attempts to silence them. There is no greater cause than that of fighting for the most vulnerable. Indeed, Scripture calls us to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves, to defend their rights, and to do justice.

In addition to the physical attacks on pro-lifers, states and cities across the country are enacting terrible pro-abortion laws that allow abortion on demand up until birth and attempt to silence anyone who opposes abortion.

Maryland is one of the most egregious offenders and is currently the only state set to vote in 2024 on a constitutional amendment to recognize abortion as a right under the state constitution. But these kinds of laws and amendments are not merely about enshrining a right to abortion – through birth – they are intended to shut down anyone who opposes abortion and speaks out against it. Laws like the one proposed in Maryland would make abortion a “fundamental right” that no one can restrict. States like Maryland, Colorado, and New Mexico are making it nearly impossible for anyone to speak out against abortion. If we do not fight against these laws and they are allowed to pass, the expression of pro-life views in those states will be well on its way to being outlawed.

Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Crosby exemplify the kind of people we need to stand in defense of life; they are also examples of what will become even more common if we do not fight back and defend their rights.

And that is exactly why the ACLJ is taking action now to help them however we can.