New abortion rights advocates are on TikTok

In TIC Toc Uncovered version of the 1990s new song rap song by Gillette’s “Short, Short Man,” filmed in August outside a women’s health center in Charlotte, NC: “Annie Weenie Little Vanille Shorter, Little Man Shorter done.”

The camera focuses on a middle-aged white man in sunglasses, holding a poster showing a fetus with the word “abortion” on it. The caption on the video reads, “Don’t worry, the volume was changed all the way so that it could listen :-)”

This is a series of viral videos by 19-year-old Alex Cuito, an abortion clinic keeper with the organization CHARLETTE FOR CHOICE. She posts videos of her confrontation with abortion protesters on TikTok @alexthefeminist, For a larger audience. The “short, short man” video, which was filmed outside a favorite women’s health center, has been viewed more than four million times.

More famous is TicTock in which Ms. Cueto recites the banging hit “Wap” by Cardi B and Megan Thea Stallion, while anti-abortion Reads the Bible Outside the clinic.

“We treat these protesters like they’re already making a joke,” Ms. Cueto said in an interview. “We do not give them a sense of moral superiority.”

Ms. Cueto, who grew up in South Carolina and now lives in Charlotte, is one of several Gen Z campaigners for abortion rights who use social media to smear their peers. “Everyday I post about being pro-choice,” with 19-year-old student Michael Brooke at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and an activist Advocate for youth, A nonprofit that organizes young people around reproductive health. Ms. Brooke said she posts information about educational resources, as well as opportunities to organize.

Many of these activists place significant restrictions on abortion in the southern and Midwestern states. Katie Greenstein, 17, who takes the non-pronoun pronoun and lives in Wildwood, Mo., said they were involved with it NARAL Missouri announced after Pro-Choice Missouri, the local arm of an abortion rights advocacy group Abortion after eight weeks in 2019 (Was the law Later blocked by a federal judge).

Nevertheless, “abortion is out of reach due to the various barriers implemented in Missouri”, Ms. Greenstein said. They include a 72-hour waiting period and a ban on the use of telehealth services, which recommend those seeking abortion by medication. “It pushed me into wanting to fight,” Ms. Greenstein said.

According to an American Psychological Association survey conducted in August, 64 percent Gen Z adult women Says that a possible change in abortion laws in 2020 is a source of stress for them. Confirmation of Amy Connie Barrett, a conservative, soon to be on the Supreme Court, also rejected proposers of abortion rights, who fear Roe v. Wade may be at risk.

The next day, after being confirmed by Justice Barrett, “I woke up angrily, just about ready to go,” said Ms. Greenstein, whose state has a so-called “trigger law” that immediately overturns Roe v. Wade Will ban abortion. “There’s a lot on the line.”

The modern abortion rights movement grew out of the 1960s women’s rights movement, said 48-year-old Alesha Doan, a professor at the University of Kansas and “Opposition and Threat: Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment.” In the early days, activists worked on passing legislation at the state level, and talked about their experiences in consciousness-raising groups, Ms. Doon said.

In 1973 Roe v. After Wade became a federal law, the anti-abortion movement began to take precedence, a strategy once adopted by abortion-rights advocates. You can’t talk about the other without one group, Ms. Doon said: “They are co-stars, they learn from each other, and they react to each other and react.”

Clinic escorts – volunteers who stand outside clinics and help patients enter safely – were not comprehensive until the late 1980s and early 1990s, 64-year-old female, gender, and sexuality studies Professor Schosanna Erlich said. “It actually grew very powerfully in response to increased clinic violence” By abortion, She said, which included the murders of a handful of doctors who performed abortions as well as employees of other clinics.

The guiding philosophy for clinic escorts should not always be confrontational, Ms. Erlich said; He has seen more of his role as a human shield, protecting customers with his body, even if not with his words.

But while escorts still adopt a non-relevant approach to dealing with mass non-abortion protesters, the so-called The defenders, Like Ms. Cueto, act more as a counterprotector.

The rise of defenders marks the rise of anti-abortion protests outside clinics. According to a report National Abortion FederationThere were more than 6,000 incidents of anti-abortion at clinics in 2010, and more than 100,000 incidents in 2019. Incidences of trespass also increased significantly during the decade.

And ever since the epidemic has started, “We have seen an increase in harassment and attempts to show clinic invasions and people screaming and protesting and shouting,” said Catherine Ragsdale, 62, president and chief executive officer of the National Abortion Federation said.

This is where clinic defenders and other adversarial counterparts have stepped in as usual. Young activists in general “are moving forward with a more unpublished voice,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, 48, the Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund president.

However Gen Z is not the first group to use vigorous and inaccessible tactics – some older activists and writers, including Narrative pollution, Has been pursuing these ideas for years – they must be doing it in large numbers.

There is some evidence that a slightly higher percentage of Gen Z Americans support abortion rights than the previous generation, and those who support abortion rights feel more strongly about it, he said. Natalie Jackson, director of research at the Religion Research Institute, a non-profit and non-traditional polling organization.

Non-beneficiary wise Most recent surveyIn 2014, 59 percent of people between the ages of 1 to 29 say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 5 percent of the same age group in 2014. “Other age groups have not changed much since 2014,” the report said. .

Some other activists in their teens and early 20s now rejectSafe, legal and rare“Abortion rights abuses by many in the 1990s, organizing 36-year-old Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes, Vice President of Policy, Partnership and Advocates for Youth. Gen Z Activists have in fact described the issue as an intercontinental issue. Carried forward. Your race, gender, sexuality, age – all contribute to your identity affecting your access to care. “

Kaila Hales, 30, executive director of A Preferred Women’s Health Center (APWHC) in Charlotte, has seen the number of anti-abortion campaigners since the clinic explosion since 2015. She knows the history of APWHC well, since her parents started a network of clinics in 1999 in Raleigh, NC

Before 2015, “On a workday, we would see five to 10 protesters, and 20 to 30 on the weekend,” Ms. Hales said. In the last five years, prayer routes have been On Saturday outside the Charlotte Clinic Organized by a group called love lifeMs. Hales said that according to her clinic estimates more than 5,000 people were included.

“Over the years we have gathered several thousand for prayer and worship and celebration of life,” said Josh Kapes, director of city development for Love Life. “This year was very short due to Kovid.”

“This year, we continued our outdoor prayer for each participant offering masks and hand sanitizers in the city,” he said. “Love Life encouraged social distortions and face covering where they were mandatory. We encouraged virtual participation for risk-spreading family members, the elderly, and communities with community spread.

In March, four men who are part of the Love Life organization He was accused of violating a stay order in a house in Greensboro, NC. The clinic’s Ms. Hales said that it was not uncommon to see 90 anti-abortion advocates gathered outside the clinic on a typical day earlier this year, when the state was too close to coronovirus restrictions.

Like local newspaper Charlotte observer And this Queen city nerve Over the years, clashes between abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion campaigners outside the APWHC have been covered. Many involve controversies On noise ordinances. Anti abortion campaign Has camped on the ground next door The Health Center said they “may point their speakers toward the clinic to avoid the need for a city-approved sound permit,” Obervis reported. In November, anti-abortion group Cities4Life A consent order was obtained from a federal judge that allows protesters to get near cars and exit the path to the clinic. City4Life did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms Hales said her parents “put their heads under too much crowds”, a strategy favored by many abortion providers, including not facing those campaigning against abortion. “He doesn’t work any longer when they’ve got the property next door and they’re coming to the draw one at a time.”

He said that for the first time in 2020, a large number of people came in his teens and 20 were organized outside his clinic. A media strategist for Chorlett, who withdrew her real name because she feared harassment from anti-abortion campaigners, said that since Ms. Cueto and others are promoting the organization’s work in providing clinic defenders and escorts , Volunteers have tripled from 50 to 150. .

However, not everyone is happy with the new strategies. Some board members resigned from Charlotte for Choice in response to more confrontational tactics adopted by clinic defenders this year, with 42-year-old Angela Blancain, a founding board member who was among those who resigned.

While anti-abortion protesters have always been noisy, Ms. Blanken said the protests just added to the chaos, and made the experience worse for patients. “It’s more noisy outside your medical appointment,” she said. Referring to the patients, he said, “They don’t know who is on their side and who is against them.”

Ms. Hales disagrees that the patient’s experience has suffered. “As the executive director of the clinic, which has been associated with greater affinity with the ins and outs of the clinic, this has not happened,” she said.

Ms. Cueto believes that counterproductive methods are effective because they attract attention from patients. “We’re making sure they’re focused on us and arguing with us and how we mean it, and trying to shout through the bush line and telling patients that they’re Killing the child and burning in hell. ” he said.

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