Some background on the anti-abortion right and NYC in 2020.
- Know your fash: David and Jason Benham are two of the patriarchs behind Love Life, whose followers have overwhelmed the streets of North Carolina abortion clinics for years. Now they’re gearing up to overwhelm ours. They wear matching blue t-shirts, sing worship songs, and call their live-streamed protests at the Margaret Sanger Center in Soho “prayer walks.”
- Love Life uses the language and optics of racial justice. About BLM, they wrote, “we can’t help but think of all the children of color who are disproportionately killed in the womb.” Advising pastors on how to hold prayer walks, they wrote, “we recommend… a mixture of men & women & racial diversity.” NB: HGTV was forced to drop the Benham brothers’ show in 2014 because the bros are wildly homophobic.
- This is their father, Flip Benham. In the 90s when antis were blockading and shutting down clinics—that was Flip and his group Operation Rescue, now called Operation Save America. He was convicted of stalking an abortion doctor in 2011. And now he’s followed his sons to NYC for an event on June 19, 2020, targeting Margaret Sanger called #JesusMatters.
- NYC IS NOT FOOLED. #JesusMatters is the anti-abortion response to Black Lives Matter, and the message is clear: a mass uprising for Black liberation is cover for pulling out all the stops to make sure that Black women are forced to do work (gestation is work) against their wills. In the middle of a pandemic. In a country where it’s very dangerous to be Black and pregnant—the US lets more pregnant people die than any other rich country. And they’ll shamelessly co-opt the rhetoric of Black liberation to do it. NOT IN OUR STREETS.