The growing overlap between anti-abortion activism and far-right extremism has started to spill into the real world in high-profile ways.
By Tess Owen and Carter Sherman
Feb 3, 2022
On New Year’s Eve, a fire ripped through the last Planned Parenthood in East Tennessee, turning the Knoxville abortion clinic into a hunk of rubble. As the ruins smoldered, some anti-abortion activists and members of the far-right celebrated online.
A Telegram meme account affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right street-fighting gang, responded to the literal fire with a string of fire emojis. “Aww, what a shame,” they wrote. “That will set their genocidal plans and baby parts market back for months.”
Racism and xenophobia have been woven into the anti-abortion movement for decades, despite the careful curation of its public image.
By Alex DiBranco
(posted online January 8, 2021)
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
The anti-abortion movement in the United States has long been complicit with white supremacy. In recent decades, the movement mainstream has been careful to protect its public image by distancing itself from overt white nationalists in its ranks. Last year, anti-abortion leader Kristen Hatten was ousted from her position as vice president of the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists after identifying as an “ethnonationalist” and sharing white supremacist alt-right content. In 2018, when neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) sought to join the local March for Life rally organized by Tennessee Right to Life, the anti-abortion organization rejected TWP’s involvement. (The organization’s statement, however, engaged in the same false equivalency between left and right that Trump used in the wake of fatal white supremacist violence at Charlottesville. “Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.)