For the mainstream movement to ban abortion, graphic photos and aggressive language have generally gone out of style. The winning slogans, the ones Republican politicians prefer, are warmer, fuzzier: Thumbsucking ultrasound photos, or “women’s health” used as a pretext to shut down safe abortion clinics, including three in Texas this month alone. The losing slogans involve Akin-like “legitimate rape” and comparing Planned Parenthood to the Klan.
Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) begs to differ. Founded out of Norman, Oklahoma, and with chapters nationwide, AHA activists wear t-shirts emblazoned with “End Child Sacrifice” and proudly display photos of bloodied, fully developed fetuses. They protest outside churches – yes, churches – accusing them of not doing enough to end abortion, and talk scornfully of “pro-lifers” who make peace with rape exceptions to abortion bans.
AHA activists disdain the phrase “pro-life” altogether. They prefer “abolitionists,” with all slavery comparisons explicitly intended, and they want to push the larger movement to abide by their uncompromising positions. That means moving away from the incremental strategy – 20 week bans, admitting privileges laws for clinics – and sticking to banning all abortion without exceptions, equating hormonal birth control (even the daily pill kind) with abortion, and advocating that women who have abortions be tried as murderers.