Pregnant Team Member Harassed by Pro-Abortion Protesters at the Women’s March

Brenna Lewis - 19 Oct 2020

To say that the Women’s March on Saturday got out of control would be an understatement. Amidst the chaos, Students for Life team members peacefully maintained their vocal pro-life presence, speaking up for all women, preborn and born with our She Could Be campaign, showcasing what all young preborn women are capable of being, but not if they are aborted. In the process of their counter-protesting, team members were harassed and assaulted, as angry protesters took to spray painting, signs, equipment, clothing.

One of our staff members, Lori Cascio, at 38.5 weeks pregnant, used the event as an opportunity to broadcast her preborn child’s heartbeat for the crowd to hear, which was amplified through a doppler device. Not even a visibly pregnant woman was immune, however, as a young woman doubled down on saying “I would want to kill myself if I was that baby,” also calling it “using your child for political shit,” while she and others laughed. Throughout it all, though, Lori exuded love for her preborn daughter and all other preborn children. In recounting her experience, Lori explained she attended “because there’s a larger pandemic happening in our country: abortion. My preborn daughter and I were repeatedly verbally attacked, especially when projecting her little quick heartbeat over a megaphone, a sweet innocent sound to us, but a threat to their denial of the preborn’s humanity.”

On the ground, though, the story was no longer about Lori sharing her daughter’s heartbeat. While at the event Lori shared that they were amplifying the heartbeat “to show that my daughter is a real human she’s yes she’s in my body, yes I’m responsible for her, but her life matters too and this march, they’re not marching for preborn women, that’s why I’m here, and my daughter’s here, so that they have a voice as well.” When asked about her message for the protesters there, she “hope[d] they listened and had open ears to this heartbeat and what we had to say because we’re not here to fight anyone. We’re just here to say hey we want all women to be included, whether they’re born or unborn, black, white, different opinions, different genders, you name it.” Perhaps most powerfully, Lori addressed just how the pro-abortion movement is “leaving women out,” with people telling her “eff off, go home, your kid should be aborted.” She rightfully mentioned that “that’s disgusting, that’s not feminism.” It indeed isn’t true feminism, when so-called feminists can’t even handle other women having a differing opinion for them.

The exchange, captured by Matthew Miller of the Daily Caller, was also reported by the Blaze and the Washington Examiner.

We’ve seen it far too often lately what the pro-abortion movement thinks of women who don’t share their views on abortion, from heads of organizations—like a rallying cry from NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue–to a woman who punched Students for Life team member, Autumn Schimmer, because this woman didn’t like Autumn’s view of feminism. That the left is willing to champion the violence of abortion in the name of “healthcare” and “choice,” sadly means it is not surprising that they wouldn’t condemn violence against those who give a voice to the voiceless.

A subsequent video provides evidence of just how much mental gymnastics is required to justify this inconsistent view on supporting women. The reporter engages with a grown man who admits “I am yelling at the pregnant lady there… she represents the pro-life movement and it’s their choice. I’m supporting them. I’m not yelling at the person, I’m yelling at the movement.” Yet as the man just admitted, and continues to admit, he is yelling at a pregnant woman.” His agitation with the reporter is clear as he challenges the reporter with “why don’t you try manning up and yelling for a woman.” He also justifies yelling at the reporter for being “just as ignorant” while the reporter asks him to clarify that he is indeed yelling at a pregnant woman.

A grown woman jumps in to condone the yelling, pointing out “these are women who do not support women.”

Such an exchange should be too mind boggling to take place, for it is counter intuitive to what the so-called pro-choice movement claims to want. If these protesters claimed to support women, then why would they be so aggressive towards another woman? If they want women to have choice, then why are they denigrating Lori’s choice to give her daughter life, and to choose to speak out on behalf of all preborn girls and boys? What about the choice of those who want to hear the perspective that Lori and our team members have to offer?

One side is a clear demonstration of love and support, the other of a dark cloud not only over the lives of the preborn, but of those who wish to have and provide a dialogue. Yet perhaps these protesters know the truth after all. Even with laughter and denigration in her voice, the young woman did call Lori’s daughter “a child” and “that baby.” Lori shared that the marchers “acknowledged my child’s humanity and were offended by it.” Lori also emphasized the loving pro-life message when she also shared that “I don’t hate anyone or feel angry towards them for the way they acted to me and my innocent daughter, I just ask that you keep them in your prayers. They must’ve been really hurting from their own experiences to act that way.”

As Mary Kate Knorr, the Strategic Partnerships Advisor for Students for Life Action, said during a live video outside the Supreme Court for the Women’s March, the pro-life presence is “so powerful then, because it totally counters this narrative of the left.”

Fortunately, Lori was also able to broadcast her daughter’s heartbeat outside of the Supreme Court earlier that week, when Students for Life team members were present there to make our support for confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court heard.

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