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The doors of Planned Parenthood are often surrounded by some form of conflict but that generally involves protesting, not violence.
That wasn't the case on Tuesday when a protester at a Planned Parenthood in Oregon got into a fight and pulled out a knife. Christopher Tolhurst had an argument with Kailah L. Clair earlier in the day but when she returned later that afternoon with her father, Ted Clair, the incident became physical.
Police handcuffed Tolhurst shortly after the stabbing but he was later released. Now it's not clear if he'll be arrested at all.
It's true that Tolhurst stabbed Ted Clair in the abdomen and neck but the stabbing took place during a fight, reports Los Angeles Times.
Early in the afternoon Kailah had kicked over some of Tolhurst's protest signs. He responded by pushing her. When she returned with her father, Ted Clair punched Tolhurst in the face and started a fight. That's what led to the stabbing.
It's also why police are unsure whether or not to arrest him.
Stabbing someone is generally a crime but it's not a crime to defend yourself in a fight. So long as the force used in self defense is proportional to the force that's attacking you, any harm caused is not considered criminal.
But self defense only works if the person claiming it didn't instigate the fight. Once you start a fight you generally forfeit any right to a self-defense claim.
Police arrived at the scene after the fight was underway so it could be unclear who initiated and whether the force used was appropriate. They're planning to do a thorough investigation of the case and then turn it over to the district attorney to see if charges are appropriate, reports Associated Press.
In the meantime Tolhurst may go back to his protesting although his method doesn't seem very effective. The Planned Parenthood he stands outside doesn't actually perform abortions.
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