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Cutting the cord: NYC grassroots activists sever ties with fellow abortion rights group in Roe v. Wade reversal dispute

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Grassroots activists denounce RiseUp4Abortion citing alleged questionable behavior and policies.
Photo by Dean Moses

Several abortion rights organizations are at each other’s throats following Friday’s mass protests, citing claims that one group is doing more harm than good.  

Thousands took over the streets on June 24 in protest of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Pro-abortion activists have unified their collective fury in the wake of the announcement, and the leaked draft opinion in May which foreshadowed Friday’s decision.

However, on Saturday, NYC for Abortion Rights—a grassroots pro-abortion organization—released a statement denouncing fellow protest group “Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights,” demanding the leaders take a step back from the movement.

“Our movement needs to be strong and united. Most repro groups have turned their backs on Rise Up privately since their inception. It is vital for all repro groups to now unite in discrediting Rise Up publicly,” NYC for Abortion Rights wrote on their Instagram.

NYC for Abortion Rights charges that RiseUp perpetuates harmful myths regarding the dangers of abortion through its protesters by hosting die-ins and wearing fake blood over white pants and holding coat hangers.

While this is intended to signify the deadly risks of back-alley procedures, NYC for Abortions believes these theatrics stigmatizes that abortion is a violent procedure and inhibits awareness on abortion medication.

Photo by Dean Moses

Additionally, the group claims that RiseUp allegedly diverts money from its social movements for other means, perpetuates anti-Blackness, intentionally excludes sex workers, has a homophobic past, and are transphobic.

With only 24-hours passing since the first large-scale protest, advocacy groups are already seeing a rift in the movement.   

In response to these claims, Rise Up 4 Abortions stated that these allegations consist of blatant lies coupled with out-of-context quotes. The co-initiators of RiseUp also call the accusations slander.

“At a moment when masses of people are rising up – at last – to fight against the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, an assorted group of organizations who have done absolutely nothing to mobilize people to fight this decision when it was impending over the past 6 months, have issued a statement packed with outright lies, slanders, and out-of-context quotes against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, the one organization that has led and continues to lead the fight against this unprecedented, illegitimate, and egregious decision,” part of the statement from RiseUp said.

The group also said they call for New Yorkers to remain joined together amidst the removal of abortion rights while adding they continue to be committed to supporting those in the LGBTQ+ community.    

“The sad fact is that the great bulk of the “reproductive rights movement” chose to downplay the severity of the attack. They simultaneously counseled people to prepare for a “post-Roe” America rather than throw everything into preventing the decision. Many of these organizations attacked Rise Up for saying that this assault on abortion was overwhelmingly focused on women, even as Rise Up also spoke out against the way this assault would be used against the rights of LGBTQ people (as can already be seen in Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion yesterday) and consistently pointed to the disproportionate effect the overturning of Roe would have on Black and Latina women, and other women of color.”

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