'Pro-Lifers' Respond To Abortion Rights Protests With Violence, Misogyny And Trucks

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'Pro-Lifers' Respond To Abortion Rights Protests With Violence, Misogyny And Trucks

In much of the run-up to what we knew would be a whole lot of abortion rights protests following the death of Roe, right-wing pundits were clutching every pearl they could find and talking about how very terrified they were over how the left was probably going to end up burning the whole country down over a little thing like a whole lot of people losing their bodily autonomy. They love to be victims, particularly in the hypothetical.

That didn't happen. If you want the truth, Republicans are about to destroy their own states without any help at all from us. It won't be through protest or fire or anything we might do, but rather as a result of their own actions and inactions. With the lack of universal healthcare and subsidized education in this county (medical school costs a lot of money — doctors can't afford to set up practices in rural areas, many of which are in red states), and the lack of subsidized childcare and parental leave? It's going to be a trash fire for these states. An enormously expensive trash fire.

That being said, the violence and hatred we've seen this weekend has not come from our side.


In Rhode Island, Jeann Lugo, an police officer who was running for State Senate as a Republican has been arrested after being caught on tape punching his opponent, Jennifer Rourke, in the face at a protest. Lugo was off-duty at the time and pretty much just there to fuck with people.

"I’m a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent — a police officer — violently attacked me," Rourke wrote in a Twitter post. "This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office. I won’t give up."

Lugo is on paid leave pending an investigation. He told CNBC that he was "in a situation that no individual should see themselves in" and that he was only trying to protect someone who was being attacked by "agitators."

The long version of the video shows a counterprotester named Josh Mello, who has had previous issues with violence, being asked to leave the protest and hit by someone in a green jacket as he leaves. Mello then starts hitting several women in the vicinity and then, at some point, Lugo pops in and punches Rourke (who was trying to break things up) in the face.

Before shutting his social media down entirely, he announced that he would no longer be running for office, which is just swell because the last thing anyone needs is some cafone who runs around punching women in the face for a state senator. Or a cop for that matter.

On Friday, at a protest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a truck driver with a license plate reading "WRAPTOR" purposely drove into a crowd of people protesting the overturning of Roe. Several protesters were injured and at least one, whose foot was run over by the truck, went to the hospital.

It does not seem as though the driver has been arrested yet but police did interview him on Friday. Huh.

Conservative pundits and politicians have long expressed great joy over the idea of left-wing protesters being run over by those who disagree with them, even going so far as to push for laws making it legal to do so.

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Republicans seem to think this is an especially adorable thing to do, so we can definitely look forward to seeing many "pro-life" people trying to murder people with their cars over the coming days and weeks.

To cap things off, we've got not violence so much as a hefty dose of misogyny in the form of Jacob Fucking Wohl and his loyal sidekick Jack Burkman showing up to an abortion rights protest in Washington, DC.

Via The Independent:

While Burkman played police siren noises, Wohl repeatedly told women, “The protest is over, it’s time to go home.” He then said that “most of you here won’t have to worry about getting abortions anyway,” adding that he thought the women gathered were “ugly” and “morbidly obese”.

Pro-choice protesters chanted, “Goodbye” repeatedly in an effort to make the pair leave. One activist poured a bottle of water over Wohl’s head

Wohl circled the protest a number of times. He was escorted away from the scene by police and by anti-violence activists, only to return again. He told The Independent that women “belong in the kitchen” and that he had come to the protest to “educate people”. He added that he was a part of an organization called “Project 1599”.

Cute.

As you may recall, Project 1599 was the name of the fake civil rights organization Wohl and Burkman invented when they robocalled a bunch of Black people in several states in order to discourage them from voting by claiming that if one votes through mail-in ballots their "personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used for credit card companies to collect outstanding debts." The two have yet to be convicted for this, although if they are, they likely face up to 24 years in prison for the charges in Michigan alone. The FCC has also announced last year that they plan to fine the pair over $5 million for their scams. So really, they only have so much time to scream at women to "get back in the kitchen" and they seem to be making the most of it.

It's more than obvious that the forced birth contingent has a bit of a screw loose — so be careful out there.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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