WASHINGTON — An abortion advocacy group allegedly canceled a rally commemorating the first anniversary of oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court case that led to Roe v. Wade's reversal after pro-life activists went undercover in an attempt to disrupt the event.
The group "Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights" planned protests outside courthouses nationwide on Thursday, marking the first anniversary of the day that the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The high court ruled in June that there is no constitutional right to abortion, restoring regulatory authority over abortion laws to individual states.
Pro-life activists affiliated with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising say they were asked to organize the protest outside the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court after a PAAU member reached out for information about what the group was planning in the nation's capital.
After meeting with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights' national recruiter via Zoom, PAAU's Director of Communications Kristin Turner told The Christian Post they planned to disguise themselves as pro-choice activists and conduct the rally while pretending to support abortion.
At some point during the event, PAAU members planned to reveal before the press that they were actually pro-life.
"[Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights] asked us to plan their protest for Washington, D.C., because not a single pro-choice person stepped up to organize it," Turner, who also serves as the executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco, told CP.
On Thursday night, around seven PAAU activists wore green to the Supreme Court and brought signs with pro-choice slogans, which they later peeled off, giving way to the pro-life slogans hidden underneath. The signs contained slogans such as "Abortion is murder" and "Abortion is suffocation, poisoning, and dismemberment."
However, PAAU says Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights canceled the rally in D.C. Thursday, which PAAU believes is because the group discovered that they were actually pro-life activists.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights did not immediately respond to The Christian Post's request for comment before press time.
PAAU says that Rise Up 4 Abortion rights removed the announcement about the event in DC from its main website. The organization's website doesn't list information about a Washington, D.C. rally but includes rallies held in about 11 major cities, including New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights' website contends that the Supreme Court's decision is "illegitimate" and equates to "forced motherhood" and "female enslavement." It calls for the Supreme Court decision to be "relentlessly resisted, repudiated and reversed!" The group even criticizes the Democratic Party and "mainstream pro-choice leaders" for adjusting to the "new normal."
The PAAU members proceeded with their plans to demonstrate and pretended to be pro-choice before removing their disguises.
During her speech, Turner said that justifying abortion by claiming it's necessary for women to be equal is a "lazy excuse" to avoid helping pregnant women and communities without access to resources.
As the group chanted things like "Abortion is violence! Abortion is oppression!" in front of the Supreme Court steps, two pro-choice activists showed up. One man with a megaphone who supported abortion engaged the PAAU activists, attempting to counter their pro-life chants with his own.
The man told CP he was not a member of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, saying he was there on his own.
Turner said that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights asked her to organize the rally after she messaged them through an anonymous Instagram account. Turner responded that she would do it.
"Obviously, I'm pro-life, but we wanted to come here, and we wanted to show people that pro-lifers are the ones who are coming out in numbers, and we're the ones who are standing boldly for life," she said.
Turner said on-the-ground activism is something the pro-life movement has done for "decades" and believes it to be one of the reasons why Roe was overturned. She contends that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is "sorely mistaken" if it thinks it can maintain the "status quo" without showing up and doing on-the-ground activism.
"They believe that anybody who's cool, anybody who's willing to yell into a megaphone, anybody who's willing to do anything, is pro-choice? That's not true," Turner said.
"There are lots of young, left-leaning women and people who are from all political persuasions who care about abortion and who care about unborn children."
Terrisa Bukovinac, founder and executive director of PAAU, argued in her speech outside the court that organizations like Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights "regularly underestimate the pro-life movement."
"They are quick to believe anyone who simply looks cool must support the murder of unborn children," Bukovinac said.
"Tonight, we proved to them and America that is not the case. People from all walks of life recognize that abortion is violence, including progressives," she continued. "We will not stop fighting for the babies, and we will end abortion in all 50 states."
Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.