A Texas anti-abortion group has been accused of plotting on social media to kidnap abortion-seeking women and dropping them off at a church, instead of a clinic, after evangelizing to them. The group has denied this claim, arguing it was being framed by a pro-abortion group attempting to "slander" its name.
Media outlets have been circulating a screenshot of a Facebook post from the weekend that shows the group Praying For You writing a message on the page of the Texas-based anti-abortion group "Abolish Human Abortion [AHA]." The group is clear to note that it does not consider itself to be a pro-life group, but rather an abolitionist group against abortion.
The Praying For You Facebook post, which has since been deleted, suggests that AHA members volunteer to be a part of Cicada Collective, a community group in North Texas that provides transportation, lodging, and information to women seeking abortions. The post suggests AHA members volunteer as drivers for the Cicada Collective, offering to pick women up and drive them to terminate their pregnancies. Instead of driving them to an abortion clinic, however, the incognito AHA member would instead evangelize to them while they're in the car and ultimately drop them off at a church, instead of an abortion clinic, after their appointment time had passed.
"Please share this email far and wide among Christian groups. Cicada.firstname.lastname@example.org," reads the Praying For You post on the Abolish Human Abortion's Facebook wall.
"It's the email address being used by a group backed by Fund Texas Women and Lilith Fund looking for volunteers to shuttle TX women around for their abortion appointments. Consider volunteering yourself. I'm not suggeting you actually take a woman to an abortion clinic but it's a wonderful opportunity to minister to an abortion minded woman for an hour while you DON'T take her to her clinic. And hey if you can't change her mind by the time she gets out of your car and realizes she is at a church and not the clinic she's missed her appointment anyway," the post adds.
The pro-abortion group Fund Texas Women posted a screenshot of the Facebook post on their Twitter account on November 10 with the caption: "This really alarmed us this morning. Just one reminder that getting an abortion in Texas can be very dangerous." Additionally, Cicada Collective also posted a message on its Facebook page warning women seeking abortions to be aware of the abduction scheme posed by Praying For You.
"Well, anti-choicers attempting to infiltrate was bound to happen at some point right? Here is a concerning message we got this morning. Other groups out there wanting to provide practical support to people seeking abortion care in Texas, please be careful," the message read.
A later message posted by Cicada Collective stated that they "appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, as well as the many words of caution – we understand that these threats are alarming, but we want to reassure all of our supporters that these anti-choice infiltrators WILL NOT pass our screening requirements for practical support, or for any affiliation with our collective."
Abolish Human Abortion has also released a statement asserting that it is in no way affiliated with the group Praying For You, and cannot control what a person or organization tries to post on their Facebook wall. The anti-abortion group goes on to suggest that possibly the initial Praying For You post was in fact a ploy used by a pro-abortion group to slander the Abolish Human Abortion group.
"We have no relationship with the group 'Praying for You' which did suggest this and post something on our FB wall about it. But, we are not responsible for what other people post on our wall and we are not huge on censorship. We have a policy and we follow it," the group said on its Facebook page.
The group says in a separate post that it has never seen a Praying For You post on its Facebook wall before this incident, and the group is "entertaining the possibility that they are actually a fake group created by some pro-abortion rights people who are seeking to create a false story to cast aspersions on anti-abortion activists and possibly abolitionists in general."
An earlier post by Abolish Human Abortion reads: "A strange thing happens when people love their sin and are addicted to death but can't justify their brutality against their fellow man. When they run out of slogans and their empty rhetoric is exposed some people repent of their rebellion against God."
"Tragically others are so determined to persist in suppressing the truth in unrighteousness that they turn to increasingly desperate and pathetic tactics in an attempt to run from their maker. They do things like creating fake accounts to post crazy and unlawful suggestions on our wall, take screen caps of their own crazy post and then spread it around amongst themselves and spam our page and inbox with it in an attempt to slander us," the post adds.
"Be strong in the Lord abolitionists. Keep focused. Don't look to the right or to the left. Abolish Human Abortion," the post concludes.
Texas has become one of the strictest states in the country with regards to abortion regulations; in early November, a federal appeals court ruled the state may begin reinstating some of its strictest abortion regulations, including a law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as well as a law requiring particular protocol for the administering of abortion-inducing drugs.