A pro-life group that crashed an abortion rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court is planning to continue their operation by sharing the pro-life message at other pro-abortion demonstrations in the coming weeks.
Pro-life activists with Students for Life of America showed up at a “Self-Managed Abortion Teach-In” rally held by the pro-abortion group Reproaction. The group held the event outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Thursday as part of an effort to highlight what they viewed as the benefits of chemical abortions, also known as the abortion pill.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, pro-abortion activists have worked to make the abortion pill available via telemedicine, meaning that women do the abortion at home, also called a DIY abortion, where they induce a miscarriage and are advised to flush the baby down the toilet or throw it in the trash, thus saving abortion clinics money on medical waste disposal. This also means that abortionists don't have to physically see their clients before dispensing abortion-inducing drugs and only see women for a follow-up visit to ensure the abortion was complete.
Reproaction characterized telemedicine abortions as “self-managed abortion.”
In an interview with The Christian Post, Tina Whittington, executive vice president of Students for Life of America, explained that the purpose of the counter-protest was to ensure that “the life narrative is engaged anywhere where the abortion narrative is.”
“Wherever there’s going to be this abortion narrative, we want to be there as a light … to bring in the pro-life narrative,” Whittington added, noting that the pro-abortion rally was “the most subdued event we’ve ever been to.”
The dueling protests did not lead to violence and Whittington reported that some of the women protesting with Reproaction “did take home materials” handed out by Students for Life, which included “fact sheets” about the “risks and dangers” of chemical abortions as well as information about abortion pill reversals.
She said that her team has “phone numbers and cameras” should violence break out, adding, “we walk them through before they get into these situations … how to handle themselves … if it does start to escalate, how … you de-escalate it.”
The pro-life activist noted that Thursday’s counter-protest, where pro-life activists highlighted their concerns about chemical abortion, is just the latest example of the pro-life group’s activism on the topic. Students for Life of America has partnered with Charlotte Pence Bond, daughter of former Vice President Mike Pence, to create a docuseries about chemical abortion.
Video from Thursday’s event, published by Breitbart, showed pro-abortion protesters holding signs emblazoned with phrases such as “Stop prosecuting abortion” and supporters wearing T-shirts that read “pro-abortion, pro-family, pro-justice.” Several participants held flags featuring the word “abortion.”
Chants shouted by pro-life counter-protesters included, “Hey hey! Ho-ho! The abortion pill has got to go!” “We are the pro-life generation!” “We will abolish abortion!” and “Abortion harms women!”
Meanwhile, a speaker at the “Self-Managed Abortion Teach-In” vowed that “We will not stop until each person in this country has full reproductive self-determination. We are standing up for abortion, we are standing up for gender justice, and we are not going to stop.” The most frequent chant shouted by the pro-abortion group was “Abortion is unstoppable.”
Signs held by pro-life counter-protesters included messages such as “Dear Women, the abortion industry is lying to you,” “Chemical abortion hurts women,” “Chemical Abortion is 4x more dangerous than surgical abortion,” “Chemical abortion is death by mail” and “Fetal poisoning is wrong.” Throughout the counter-protest, the pro-life group played testimony of women who went through chemical abortion on a loop.
One sign provided women with a phone number where they could obtain information about chemical abortion reversals. Another sign listed the side effects of chemical abortion, including “severe pain and bleeding,” “future infertility,” “depression and anxiety” and “infection and death.”
Reproaction lists some side effects of the abortion pill on its resource page, “Understanding and Advocating for Self-Managed Abortion,” but also labels such complications “rare.”
When sharing pictures of the event on social media, Reproaction accused “so-called ‘pro-life’ supporters” of engaging in “exclusionary and transphobic” rhetoric for holding signs proclaiming that “chemical abortion hurts women.”
Reproaction’s resource page uses the gender-neutral term “pregnant person” instead of women several times, although it includes the words “woman” and “women” as well.
The group also remarked that “The anti-abortion crowd is here because they’re afraid. They know they can’t stop abortion because abortion is unstoppable!”
In her interview with CP, Whittington also discussed the state of the pro-life movement in the U.S., specifically addressing the Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as Senate Bill 8. The law prohibits abortions after a baby's heartbeat can be detected, usually at around six weeks gestation. Additionally, it enables private citizens to sue individuals who perform abortions and those who help women obtain illegal abortions.
The Supreme Court declined a request from abortion providers and pro-abortion groups to block the law, enabling it to go into effect on Sept. 1. While litigation against the measure is expected to continue in the lower courts, the Supreme Court’s decision sparked outrage among pro-abortion groups and led to many nationwide protests.
A progressive group called Shut Down DC held a protest Monday night in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh lives. Kavanaugh is one of five Supreme Court justices who declined to block SB 8 from going into effect. Students for Life of America activists held a counter-protest at that event as well.
Whittington recalled how when Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2018, Students for Life of America “did rallies for him in front of senators’ offices, such as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
She told CP that Monday’s counter-protest was a “continuation of that support from when he was first nominated and went through the hearing process of confirmation.”
“He is someone who the abortion lobby has decided is … their enemy number one,” she added. “The abortion industry has painted a target on his back and … we can be that passionate voice in support of him and his … position for life.”
Whittington told CP that Students for Life of America will hold another counter-protest outside a Women’s March taking place in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2. She predicted that the presence of the pro-life movement at the Women’s March would serve as a “counter-voice” to the pro-abortion narrative.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com