In an unprecedented blend of progressive rhetoric and confrontational tactics, the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) has sparked controversy with its unconventional strategies. Here’s the whole story.

Unusual Activism

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This summer, the cityscape of Washington, D.C., witnessed an unusual form of anti-abortion activism as the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) employed unconventional strategies, including graffiti and live-streamed protests.

Confrontational Movement

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Operating primarily in the nation’s capital, PAAU has become part of an increasingly confrontational anti-abortion movement, raising eyebrows with its combination of progressive language and graphic rhetoric. 

“Be Gay: Ban Abortion”

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In a departure from traditional anti-abortion advocacy, PAAU members utilized graffiti to spread their message, with messages like “Be Gay: Ban Abortion” and “Abortion Is Murder” appearing on sidewalks, bridge overpasses, and near metro stations. 

Uncomfortable Feelings

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This approach, intended to make people “uncomfortable,” reflects the group’s commitment to a smashmouth style, leading to convictions for trespassing and obstructing abortion clinics.

Live Streaming

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Live-streamed protests have become a prominent feature of PAAU’s activism, drawing attention and scrutiny, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision impacting the constitutional right to abortion.

Protecting Abortion Access

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The Department of Justice has utilized the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to address allegations of obstructive protests, ranging from pellet gun shootings to gate-locking incidents. 

“Culture Jamming”

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Terrisa Bukovinac, the founder of PAAU, emphasizes the group’s use of graffiti as “culture jamming,” celebrating the act of decorating public spaces. 

Confrontational Approach

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Despite the progressive verbiage of PAAU, aligning with values such as equality and LGBTQ+ rights, its confrontational approach finds an unlikely fit within conservative circles. 

Conservative Associations

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Bukovinac’s association with the Leadership Institute, a conservative training group, and attendance at a Heritage Foundation gala raise questions about the group’s ideological positioning.

Digital Activism

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PAAU’s digital activism extends to live-streamed protests that feature combative counter-protesters, often making misleading claims rejected by medical experts.

Doxxing Risk

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Livestreams present a potential risk of doxxing, where personal information is made public without consent, adding a layer of aggression to the group’s tactics. 

Graphic Rhetoric

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Despite the progressive language on its website, PAAU has faced criticism from within the anti-abortion movement for its graphic rhetoric. 

Balancing Act

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The group’s attempt to present a multicultural and progressive image during protests reflects a careful balancing act to appeal to both the left and right. 

Legal Challenges

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However, PAAU’s strategies have faced legal challenges, with some members, including Lauren Handy, the director of activism, being convicted under the FACE Act for blockading an abortion clinic. 

Repeal of the Law

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As PAAU and its allies navigate legal challenges, including appeals against convictions, their broader goal is clear – the potential repeal of the FACE Act. 


Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

With congressional allies supporting their cause, PAAU has rebranded a social media account with the hashtag “#RepealFACE,” signaling a concerted effort to challenge the legislation that regulates their distinctive style of activism.

“Ultra Conservative”

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The news led to an immediate outcry online, with many questioning if it’s possible to be both progressive and anti-abortion, with one person commenting, “Being anti-abortion is anything but progressive.  As a matter of fact, being anti-abortion is ultraconservative.”

“Mind Your Own Business”

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Another posted, “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one. The right for a woman to control her own body is hers alone, not yours. Quit worrying about what other people are doing and mind your own business.”

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The post PAAU’s Confrontational Approach in Anti-Abortion Campaign Faces Legal Challenge first appeared on Thrifty Guardian.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eric Glenn. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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