Reproaction Protests Students for Life Fundraising Gala

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

Recently, Reproaction activists protested a Students for Life fundraising gala in New York City. This was an event at which abortion opponents paid as much as $1,000 a seat to attend a party at a luxury hotel in Times Square to celebrate the Covington Catholic students who were videoed in a standoff with an Indigenous elder at the 2019 March for Life, as well as to cheer on a fresh docket of abortion bans. We are clear that more abortion bans will put more people in jail for pregnancy outcomes, and our message was simple: Stop Prosecuting Abortion.

Students for Life of America, who retain notable conservative figures such as Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society [1], on its board and uses racially inflammatory language and propaganda to push its anti-abortion agenda, [2] is a group that holds power and influence in the anti-abortion movement. They’ve held multiple meetings with Vice President Pence [3] and have wielded their almost $6 million annual budget to advocate for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation [4] to the Supreme Court and promote anti-abortion propaganda films on campuses, among other things. [5]

The evening’s gala wasn’t the first time Students for Life raised money off the Covington Catholic boys’ standoff with Indigenous Peoples’ March attendees: after the initial video went viral, supporters made a GoFundMe totaling $57,000. [6]

We decided they wouldn’t be able to spread their malice in New York City without some accountability. A handful of activists showed up with our Stop Prosecuting Abortion signs and shirts to let gala attendees know the world abortion opponents are fighting for – and celebrating with a high-priced party – is one that spreads hate and puts women in jail.

Recently, Reproaction captured video of some Students for Life activists and representatives at the 2019 March for Life calling for the imprisonment of women who have abortions once Roe v. Wade falls.

It’s plain to see that banning abortion inserts the criminal system in matters of health care and personal autonomy, which is bound to especially harm women of color and hold all people who can become pregnant as suspects in the eyes of the law. Some anti-abortion activists are willing to ignore that fact, if not fight for it to come to pass.

New Yorkers and many tourists were happy to see us out there, including one woman who came up and described how her two abortions allowed her the two grown kids she has now. She thanked us for shining a light on the issue, as did several other passers-by. We also got a few honks and a stoic “word” from an onlooker, which might be the best New Yorker praise of all.








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