Ten Toxic Proponents of the Pro-Choice Movement
In an age when publicly demonstrating allegiance to causes has become an almost compulsory part of social interaction, it is no surprise a great many proponents for a multitude of causes have moved from sideline advocacy into the throes of activism. Those with firm convictions regarding abortion are no different. The very topic often evokes strong (and differing) views among people. But where most advocates and activists (on either side of the issue) abide by the law and common courtesy toward opposition, there are extremists.
The behavior of the abortion issue extremist typically follows the patterns demonstrated by any other brand of extremist. Whether it is in silencing opposition, threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, or outright violence, extremists on either spectrum of the abortion debate use aggressive tactics and bullying in order to show the world where they stand on the subject. Some abortion issue extremists also use shows of advocacy and activism for financial gain or as means to prey on the the vulnerable. All of them excuse their actions by pointing to the gravity of the subject. They would have us believe this gravity compels and morally demands them to utilize toxic measures.
The public is is well aware of the contentious feelings which proponents on either side are apt to nurse and express toward each other. One only has to watch the argumentative debates on pundit broadcasts or read flaming replies to memes to bear witness to the animosity between passionate Pro-Choicers and Pro-Lifers. But even the moderate and discerning among us are aware that a majority of information and news sources frequently show bias when it comes to reporting incidents of abortion-related extremism. These sources noticeably provide a one-sided narrative, one which suggests the only aggressive acts of extremism issue out of the Pro-Life faction. So while we are repeatedly reminded about Pro-Lifers who have taken it upon themselves to harass, intimidate and sometimes even harm others to advance their cause, the activities of their toxic counter-parts are allotted much less attention and are often buried under heaps of search engine-archived material.
The following individuals are some of those counter-parts. All have supported abortion and all have demonstrated toxic behavior toward others. These individuals are not medical doctors nor licensed abortionists (as I feel such a list would rightfully merit an article all its own).
1. Harlan James Drake
In 2010, Harlan James Drake was put on trial for the premeditated shooting murders of two Michigan men. The first victim was James Pouillon, an elderly anti-abortion street preacher; the second a gravel pit owner named Michael Fuoss. The defendant was also charged with weapons offenses surrounding his plan to kill a real estate broker on the same day Pouillon and Fuoss died.
Drake’s defense tried to portray him as mentally ill, citing a suicide attempt he had made shortly after his arrest. After reviewing the prosecution’s own psychiatric evaluation the trial judge dismissed the insanity plea.
During the trial Drake said he shot the first victim because he was offended by the anti-abortion sign Pouillon was carrying outside of a high school. The prosecution was able to show the jury that the motive for the shooting of Michael Fuoss stemmed from the sour feelings Drake's family held for Fuoss. Similar grievances were shown for the plan to kill the intended third victim. Drake was shown as an arrogant individual who chose not to temper the angst he felt toward others - whether the angst was birthed by long-term family resentments or his sense of being offended by anti-abortion material.
The jury found Drake guilty on all charges and sentenced him to life without chance of parole. Their verdict was likely influenced, at least in part, by Drake’s own admission that he did not regret the killings, and if allowed free he would probably commit more.
2. Mireille Miller-Young
In August of 2014, UC Santa Barbara associate professor Mireille Miller-Young was sentenced to three years probation plus 108 hours of community service and anger management classes after she pleaded no contest on charges of battery and theft. Miller-Young’s legal issues came after she confronted a 16-year old Pro-Life supporter on the UCSB campus. In the video that was taken Miller-Young is seen stealing the minor's poster and physically bullying her.
Following the assault Miller-Young told campus police that she had felt triggered in a negative way by the image of a fetus on the poster.
Despite the fact Miller-Young admitted her guilt, UCSB did not censure her. In fact, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael D. Young defended the professor by laying blame for the assault at the feet of the 16-year old and the Pro-Life group she was with. In an email sent to students the Chancellor further insinuated that the group were peddlers of hate and intolerance. As of the writing of this article Miller-Young continues to work as an Associate Professor in the department of Feminist Studies at UCSB.
3. Bertha Bugarin
In 2009, Bertha Bugarin went on trial to face numerous charges filed in connection to the running of an illegal abortion mill.
Bugarin had once owned and operated Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy, one the biggest and most scandal-ridden abortion chains in California’s Hispanic community. Bugarin presented herself as a physician even though she had no background in medicine. Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy’s stable of unsavory (and at times infamous) abortionists included disgraced medical professionals, sex offenders, drug felons, and other smarmy individuals.
Witnesses described her clinic in Chula Vista as a house of horrors.
After losing her hired hands due to their own incurred legal problems Bugarin turned to performing abortions herself. She was already under the scrutiny of the Chula Vista Police Department after numerous Pro-Life advocates raised concerns about the standards of care provided to the chain’s often impoverished clientele. Authorities were unfortunately restrained from making any arrest based on mere concerns. This situation ended when nine women stepped forward to describe the appalling treatment they encountered at Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy. Among the unthinkable deeds described were botched and incomplete abortions. One of these resulted in the birth of a child who died within hours of delivery.
Bugarin was found guilty and sentenced in San Diego County to a term of six years and eight months. The judge at her trial ordered this term be be served concurrently with similar sentencing she had received in Los Angeles. According to Operation Rescue Bugarin was given early parole in 2012, having served out less than half of her sentence. Similarly, her name is not found within the California Correction Dept’s listing of currently incarcerated felons.
4.Pat (Patrick) Cocoran
Former civil servant Patrick Corcoran was once a revered figure in the world of Irish anti-establishment social causes. He was known to hobknob with high-profile celebrities and the elite of progressive Irish politics. Passionately pro-abortion, Cocoran had on more than one occasion been accused of being aggressive toward those that did not share his position on reproductive issues. He is also credited as the founder of AFA (Antifa) in Ireland.
In 2009, Corcoran was investigated by authorities after it was discovered he possessed over 5,900 pornographic images of children who were between the ages of eight and fourteen. Following his bond hearing and during the course of the initial investigation, Corcoran downloaded another 1,100 such images and similar videos. The legal proceedings against him dragged out for some years (perhaps due to his notoriety or fame or both). He was eventually convicted in 2015. The judge in the case gave Cocoran a wrist-slap three-and-half year suspended sentence and 18 months of probation.
5. Alicia Ruiz Hanna
Like Bertha Bugarin, Alicia Ruiz Hanna posed as a licensed abortion doctor. She was the owner and operator of the financially successful Clinica Femenina de la Comunidad in Santa Ana. There she offered abortion procedures for cash to poor women of the communities.
After Hanna discovered it was too costly to keep licensed physicians on board she began performing abortions herself.
In 1993, Hanna injected an unknown drug into young mother, Angela Nieto Sanchez, in the hope of inducing the woman to miscarry. Sanchez suffered a massive seizure in response to the drug. While she suffered her two young children waited in another room. According to clinic receptionist Irasema Mendoza, Hanna refused to have 911 called. Instead the she unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Sanchez on her own. Sanchez’s children waited for hours to see their mother. They eventually called their uncle to come get them and take them home. When evening arrived and Sanchez had still not arrived home her older child and two of the child’s aunts decided to return to the clinic to look for her. On reaching the clinic parking lot they discovered Hanna and Mendoza dragging Sanchez’s body out of the clinic toward her own car. One of the aunts insisted on calling paramedics immediately. The responding paramedics came and drove the body to the hospital where Angela Nieto Sanchez was pronounced dead on arrival. Physicians later testified the young woman had been dead for hours.
Prosecutors gave Mendoza immunity in exchange for testimony at Hanna’s trial. In this testimony she said that her employer's intention was to drive Sanchez’s body into Tijuana and dump it there. Hanna's defense attorney tried to get the murder charges reduced down to involuntary manslaughter. The jury, however, found the bogus doctor guilty of second-degree murder and of performing illegal abortions. During the sentencing phase of the trial Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey summed up Ms. Hanna as “callous and self-serving.” She received a prison sentence of 16-years-to-life.
Hanna sought to get the conviction overturned, but in June of 1999 the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected her appeal.
As of this writing Hanna’s name is not found among the currently incarcerated California inmate population.
6. Jordan Hunt
On September 23, 2018, Marie-Claire Bissonnette took part in a Pro-Life gathering in Toronto. When a man came up and began using an ink marker to scribble on the backs of other participants (including a 10-year old child) Bissonnette used her phone camera to record what he was doing. While she was filming the man asked her opinion on women who were impregnated through acts of rape. Before Bissonnette could give him a complete answer the man stuck out his tongue and aggressively round-house kicked her. As the video continued to record Bissonnette can be heard asking others to call for police. She later told authorities that the assailant had ripped a ribbon from her clothing before fleeing.
Bissonnette was bruised and sore, but thankfully, not seriously harmed. She uploaded her video to Youtube where viewers were quickly able to help identify her attacker as Jordan Hunt, a hair dresser and self-professed defender of women’s rights. The video further aided authorities to identify Hunt as the suspect wanted in a similar assault case which had occurred in August. In that case the bicycle-riding suspect approached a group of Pro-Life activists and attempted to take away their signs. When this did not work out for the suspect he allegedly threw one woman into a street pole and fled.
The video of Bissonnette's assault went viral. Outed on social media, Hunt turned himself into authorities. He was charged on some 16 counts, nine for assault and seven for mischief of property under $5,000. Although his bond was set at a mere $500 bond the undeniable video evidence cost Hunt his job with Noble Studio 101.
The salon issued to its Instagram followers a statement that read, “"It has been brought to our attention that Jordan Hunt has been caught on camera assaulting an innocent bystander at a pro life rally. We don't condone his actions and he has been let go. We believe that everyone has a right to an opinion and the right to voice their opinion without fear of physical violence." Sadly (and unfairly), Noble Studio 101 received hundreds of threats, from people angry Hunt had been dismissed, to others disturbed that the salon had hired him to begin with.
Although sources have reported Hunt was told at his arraignment to stay away from Pro-Life activists before his trial, official court information about that expected trial -or even if was ever held- has not been released to the public.
7.Gabriela “Gabby” Skwarko
Only a day after Jordan Hunt was videotaped kicking Ms. Bissonnette, another Toronto resident was filmed attacking two female Pro-Lifers. The incident happened near Ryerson University, and the suspect was Gabriela Skwarko, an assistant at the time in the university’s office of Social Innovation. Skwarko is also a member of the pro-abortion advocacy group Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective.
Because the attack was videotaped and released to social media local authorities almost immediately named Skwarko as a person of interest in a crime. She turned herself in soon afterward and was charged with assault and assault with a weapon.
In the video, the suspect (identified as Skwarko) is seen running up and kicking Blaise Alleyne. After this she is seen to repeatedly shove Katie Somers, before yanking a metal object off the young woman’s backpack and hurling it to the ground. She proceeds to strut around the area, kicking at the ground before finally stomping out of view.
Following her arrest Skwarko was released on the condition that she stay away from both women. Her initial court appearance was scheduled for December 13, 2018, but was postponed until the following January. As of this writing the case appears to be bogged down in the Ontario judicial system.
Although the university claimed to have taken “interim measures” with Skwarko, and did indeed remove her info from Ryerson’s Social Innovation page, she is currently listed as internal communications director for their ARTeries program. Her
In January of this year, Ryan Roberts of Texeas was beaten up by an unknown assailant while protesting outside of the Whole Woman’s Health abortion clinic near Fort Worth, TX.
Roberts is a Christian Pro-Lifer and founder of the organization Abortion Clinic LIVE. The assault was captured on video by one of Roberts’ fellow protesters. His attacker is seen in the video driving up in a badly damaged truck then slowing down to speak with members of the group. The man is visibly agitated in the video. He is heard telling the protesters to go away. As he begins to drive off Roberts and his friends are heard calling out to him, “Jesus loves you!” The man is seen stopping his truck in the middle of the street. He proceeds to exit the truck, run toward Roberts and punch him in the face.
Perhaps the most dismaying—or at least the most ironic—aspect for Roberts was that he saw what appeared to be “Jesus” decals plastered on the attacker’s truck.
9. Theodore “Ted” Shulman, the self-described "First Pro-Choice terrorist"
In October of 2012, the F.B.I. announced that Theodore “Ted” Shulman had been found guilty in the Manhattan federal court for threatening the lives of individuals involved in the Pro-Life movement.
Since the early 2000s, Shulman had been making threats via phone and the internet to high-profile abortion opponents. In 2010, Shulman’s outrage reached the boiling point over the assassination of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller by Scott Roeder. He now sought for new targets for his righteous rage. Soon enough he found them in the persons of two staunch Pro-Lifers, Rev. Frank Pavone and Princeton University professor Robert George. This time Shulman used a Catholic website forum to level the threat of killing both men if Roeder was acquitted. These threats were investigated by the F.B.I. as well the New York Police Dept.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The work of these combined forces led to Shulman’s apprehension in February of 2011.
At the time of his arrest Shulman was found in the possession of cyanide, rosary peas (a poisonous plant), and castor beans (which contain the deadly ricin toxin).
While awaiting trial, Shulman proudly referred to himself as “the first Pro-Choice terrorist.” He was found guilty and given a 41-month prison sentence, along with a 3-year supervised release term and an order to pay a $100 special assessment fee.
He was released from federal prison on February 14, 2014.
Theodore "Ted" Shulman is not the only ardent abortion supporter in his family. His mother is radical feminist activist and writer Alix Kates Shulman. In the documentary film I Had An Abortion Ms. Shulman boasted about having had four abortions.
10. Thomas Metcalf
In October 2018, college student Thomas Metcalf was charged with vandalism, disorderly conduct and larceny-theft for his conduct during a rally held at Indiana University. Video footage revealed Metcalf spray painting and kicking over Pro-Life signs. He was also shown trying to steal other signs and shouting profanities at members of the Pro-Life group Created Equal. After his apprehension by police Metcalf was allowed to call his mother. When he began to hysterically scream at her to find an attorney the officers made him end the call.
Metcalf is a member of Young Democratic Socialists of America and Black Lives Matter.
Metcalf appeared in court the following January. He was ordered to pay damages to Created Equal, along with court costs and filing fees, as well as complete a course of community service. The presiding judge also required Metcalf to write an essay on the topic of the First Amendment and the Right of individuals to exercise their free speech.
During the video of Metcalf's destructive tantrum a university official was seen attempting to help him get his car door closed so he could drive away from the scene. The university refused to identify this official.
More about this contributor
Beth Perry is a Tennessee native, pagan, and supporter of rare, safe, and medically supervised early-term abortions performed to save the mother’s life and in incidents of rape. She does not condone acts of bullying, harassment or extremism committed to advance any side of the issue. She is likewise an advocate for fair media reporting of abortion-related news stories.
© 2019 Beth Perry