Progressive Pro-Life Activist Aims to Empower Moderates in the Democratic Party and Stop Abortion Extremism

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 28, 2021

At the beginning of October, a self-proclaimed Democratic liberal atheist founded an organization, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), which aims to mobilize liberal pro-life activists and to undo the influence of the abortion industry on the Democratic Party.

Terrisa Bukovinac, the founder of PAAU, through the organization’s efforts, wants to uphold the progressive values of equality, nonviolence, and nondiscrimination and told The Epoch Times that there are many more people like her in the Democratic Party and among progressives who disagree with extreme abortion rights laws that allow abortion up until birth.

“We’re also looking to influence Democratic legislators in the House and in the Senate. We want to ultimately affect the DNC [Democratic National Committee] platform, and we believe the Democratic Party is just not progressive enough on abortion, that they misrepresent the vast majority of their constituents who want abortion at least more restricted than it is now,” said Bukovinac, who previously founded Pro-Life San Francisco and served as the president of Democrats for Life of America.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed The Women’s Health Protection Act, which, if passed in the Senate, would allow a woman to end a pregnancy up until birth based on any physical or mental health issue she said she had. The bill aims to enshrine into law health care providers’ ability to offer abortion services “prior to fetal viability” without pushback from individual states, such as requiring waiting periods.

The Women’s Health Protection Act, which is essentially the codification of Roe v. Wade, is literally the nightmare scenario. I mean, one of the focuses of PAAU is to educate and save the Hyde Amendment,” Bukovinac said.

“[This Act], it’s really a regress to this idea that might makes right, and it isn’t in any way in line with progressive values of equality, nonviolence, and nondiscrimination.”

Currently, the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, but Democrats want to eliminate this law.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) (C) speaks in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act, with primary sponsor Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) (R), outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 24, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-Calif.) abortion bill would also end restrictions on abortion after fetal viability “when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, a continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.”

Republicans argue that the abortion bill goes too far, allowing a woman to end the life of her baby virtually for any reason, and PAAU has joined the mission to change the laws that allow unrestricted abortions and late-term abortions.

“The abortion industrial complex has been pretty successful at primarying and pushing out candidates who are Democrats who hold life-affirming positions. So they have maneuvered an advantage for themselves, but it doesn’t represent the vast majority of Democrats or left-leaning people,” Bukovinac said. “The entire Democratic Party is in a toxic relationship with the abortion industry. The abortion industry funds their political campaigns. The abortion industry has ensured that nobody has a future in the Democratic Party unless they are rabidly [pro-abortion].”

In 2020, Planned Parenthood, the leader in the abortion industry, launched a $45 million funding campaign called We Decide to donate to and help elect lawmakers at all levels of the federal government who are pro-abortion and support Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda.

Planned Parenthood also funded the Georgia Senate runoffs, in which two Democrat senators were elected in 2021.

Bukovinac told The Epoch Times that most Democrats don’t hold such extreme abortion views but that they’re too afraid to speak up for fear of being targeted by the party.

“And the party has effectively silenced any dissenters on this through this propaganda and shaming process. And what I’m intending to do is to show the communities across the nation, especially blue communities, that this issue isn’t settled, not even in the Democratic Party,” she said.

“And the reason that I launched PAAU is because of the interest that I saw from people all across the country reaching out, saying they want to get involved in the pro-life movement, that they too are left-leaning, that they too are nonreligious, that they too have been stigmatized and shamed into silence and that they won’t be silent anymore.”

The secular pro-life activist said she is slandered and attacked for her position on abortion and understands how hard it is to oppose those in power who have such an extreme abortion agenda, but she said she feels compelled to give those people and the unborn a voice.

Epoch Times Photo
Abortion activists protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, during the March for Life in Washington, on Jan. 18, 2019. (Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo)

“It’s a very tough path. It’s very, very stigmatized work. I have been kicked out of Thanksgiving dinners and not allowed in certain people’s homes and things like that for many years now, simply because I engage in this work,” she said, adding that after PAAU’s launch on Oct. 1, it was bullied heavily on Twitter.

Bukovinac believes the abortion industry can only be stopped by true progressives who first take back the Democratic Party.

“The abortion industry cannot survive in this country without their relationship with the Democratic Party. They don’t have a relationship with the Republican Party, and they won’t be able to gain any power there either. So that’s why I believe so strongly that this is the key to ending abortion in America. … It’s progressives who change the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party is where the issue lies,” she said. “So the only people who are in a position to truly end this at this point are progressives who will force the party to change.”

Planned Parenthood didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Masooma Haq