What Happens When an Activist Bullies Anti-abortion Protesters
Health clinics say that staging counterprotests isn’t just counterproductive—“it’s completely inadvisable.”
May 11, 2019
It’s been a rough week for Brian Sims.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has been pelted with criticism and demands for his resignation from his state House seat in the days since he posted a video of himself aggressively confronting an anti-abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. “An old white lady telling people what to do with their bodies? Shame on you!” Sims shouts at the woman in a clip he live-streamed on Periscope. “Push back against Planned Parenthood protesters, PLEASE!” Sims wrote in a message accompanying the video.
Abortion Clinics Are Annoyed by Protesters. Pro-Choice Protesters.
By defying the clinics’ wishes, the protesters have formed their own radical wing of the pro-choice movement.
On a recent Wednesday, protesters gathered outside the Planned Parenthood in Madison, Wisconsin, for more than an hour, chanting, giving speeches, and occasionally raising their fists in the air. In their hands, they held a hot-pink and white banner reading, “We ❤️Abortion.”
They were members of Madison Abortion Defense, a group whose mission includes countering anti-abortion demonstrators outside clinics. The group is one of at least five similar organizations that have united to form the Movement for Abortion Defense coalition, dedicated to “opposing right-wing, anti-choice protests in the streets” and “reclaiming space and confronting antis at our clinics.”