Russians coming to Alabama for Planned Parenthood, abortion benefit
A controversial Russian band known worldwide for their radical activism will perform in Birmingham this week to benefit Planned Parenthood and a local abortion fund.
According to French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), the band “Pussy Riot” will be featured in a sold-out concert.
The event is being held at Saturn, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m on Thursday.
ABC News reported that Saturn’s co-owner, Brian Teasley, said discussions on holding the concert began before Alabama’s new abortion debate entered into the international spotlight. However, they became extra motivated to hold the performance after the Alabama Human Life Protection Act became law.
“It just gave it a little more of a layer of importance to them to come to Alabama and play this show, as opposed to it maybe just being a concert where Pussy Riot was playing. But [for] a band that kind of revolves around protests, it just kind of made sense,” Teasley told ABC News.
The concert will reportedly benefit Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based group that provides funding to women seeking abortions at one of the state’s three operational abortion clinics.
The Yellowhammer Fund is not associated with Yellowhammer Multimedia or Yellowhammer News.
The Soviet Union in 1920 became the first state in the world to legalize abortion.
“It is ridiculous to me that it’s still a question in 2019 whether women can have an abortion,” Pussy Riot co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova told AFP.
“We want to come to Alabama and support women who are in quite a critical and vulnerable position right now,” she added. “Many Americans, they believe that Russia is a patriarchal country — it’s true in a lot of ways, but when it comes to abortion rights, it’s not questionable.”
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act is not in effect and will almost certainly never go into effect.
Tolokonnikova’s interview with AFP further raised questions over whether she understands that Birmingham and Jefferson County are actually Democratic strongholds.
“I’m looking forward to meeting inspiring people, who are surviving in an environment that is not particularly open to progressive people,” she commented.
Tolokonnikova and two other band members were convicted in Russia in 2012 and jailed for an unwelcome political demonstration inside a church. This came after they held an orgy at a public zoological museum in their home country in 2008.
Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has called the law Pussy Riot will protest “extreme.” He believes abortion is “a constitutional right.”
This means Jones favors abortion rights that go well beyond Russia’s law, which allows abortion only in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, outside of certain exceptions.
This comes after Planned Parenthood spent approximately $1.5 million in dark money opposition to Amendment Two on Alabama’s general election ballot in 2018. Despite Planned Parenthood and other national pro-abortion groups railing against the pro-life referendum, Amendment Two was approved by the state’s voters by a 60%-40% margin.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn