Pro-Life Future of San Francisco has been making a name for themselves in the pro-life movement in California. This Pro-Life Future chapter has consistently and boldly taken on the task of defending pro-life activists David Daleidan and Sandra Merritt (who are under attack for their efforts to expose the corruption of the abortion industry), and their chapter is also heavily focused on fighting against a new Planned Parenthood facility in their community.
We love this chapter’s style! They are persistent, sassy, and fearless, and they are setting quite the model for future chapters to strive towards. We asked Terrisa Bukovinac, Pro-Life Future SF’s President, to tell us more about their Pro-Life Future chapter and what they have been working on in their community. Here’s what she had to say.
Interview with Terrisa of Pro-Life Future of San Francisco
Q: Why has your Pro-Life Future chapter focused so heavily on these 2 efforts (i.e. defending David and Sandra and exposing the local PP facility)?
A: Pro-Life Future SF‘s primary goal from our very founding has been giving visibility to our movement. We want to show the city of San Francisco that while they may think San Francisco is a safe place for their pro-choice agenda, there is a robust, diverse, and growing pro-life presence here. David and Sandra’s case is already one of the most publicized pro-life efforts in America. Not only do we think that helping to vindicate both David and Sandra of the allegations against them is crucial to the future of the pro-life cause, it is also a great opportunity to draw visibility to our own grassroots pro-life organization. By making visual photo opportunities with groups, cohesive colors, and messaging, we create a media narrative about what it means to be pro-life in arguably one of the most pro-choice cultures in the US.
Preventing a “flagship” PP from opening was another opportunity that was practical in two ways. It would prevent thousands of abortions from happening in San Francisco every year, but also it is another opportunity to put some real fear in Planned Parenthood in a way they never expected. They took a metaphorical beating at the commission hearing. We outnumbered them with speakers which is unheard of in San Francisco. The hearing was held at City Hall which famously lit up pink for the Planned Parenthood centennial last October. They were in absolute disbelief. A letter that went out to their supporters just two days before the hearing opened with the line “You might think that San Francisco is safe when it comes to outrageous attacks on health care at Planned Parenthood- and you would be wrong.” I’ve literally never felt so validated! It was no surprise, however, that the commission board sided with Planned Parenthood and allowed their request to move forward. We will be appealing their decision, but we still felt like we made waves and are pleased with our efforts.
Q: What’s motivated you to keep pushing on these projects?
A: Need. We cannot win this culture war unless we are able to reach people who are on the “other side”. We have an incredible opportunity here to show that being pro-life is a progressive ideal. San Franciscans love being ultra controversial and in general they appreciate a good protest. We’re here to give them one they perhaps weren’t expecting and to deliver a message they may have not been exposed to before. Our group is extremely diverse with members of many different religious and non-religious backgrounds as well as varying political affiliations. I personally identify as a liberal, atheist, and feminist. Three things that people in San Francisco find fascinating when combined with the pro-life label that I wear proudly. In the last year we have built a coalition of pro-life groups to help us achieve visibility and cohesion. If we don’t do it, no one does. And unfortunately many people dismiss the pro-life position simply because it is affiliated with religiosity. I don’t think that’s fair, but I do use my atheism to our advantage because it prevents most people from dismissing my point of view the way they might do to someone simply because they are religiously affiliated. if we are able reach people in this city then the trend will head east and we can begin to see a cultural shift. I know it’s quite an aggressive goal but we believe this goal is achievable and we see the results of our efforts every time we make an appearance.
Q: What have been your big challenges thus far?
A: Time. There’s so much to be done, and we cannot take up every issue. We are all doing this on a volunteer basis, and for me, it equates to another full-time job. We have some core members that do most of the events, but several others rotate the events they are able to participate in. We also continue to struggle with compelling media outlets to cover us. But our hope is that this will eventually change. We just have to keep trying. There definitely has been some media coverage depending on the event. Our participation in the Women’s March San Francisco was highly publicized in outlets such as Huffington Post, Refinery29 (a liberal publication!), Christian Post, Daily Signal, and more. We also did quite a bit of media for the DefundPP rally in February and were covered and quoted by our local NPR affiliate KQED, The San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, and several other local news and radio stations. A few people at my then day job mentioned they saw me on the news or heard me on NPR’s California Report. One of the reasons we were covered so heavily for that event was that the local Socialist group organized a substantial counter protest, outnumbering us many times over. It’s this clashing of ideas that attracts the media, and although the coverage was not entirely fair, it was coverage! And in a city like this, we will take any press we can get.
WAY TO GO, PRo-Life Future of San Francisco!
To top it all off, Pro-Life Future of San Francisco has:
- Secured engaged supporters at every one of David and Sandra’s court appearances
- Participated in all DefundPP Rallies
- Joined up with 40 Days for Life
- Participated at the Walk for Life, SFLA West Coast Conference, Californians for Life summit, Sockit2PP campaign, The March for Science, and the West Coast SFLA Leadership Summit
- Hosted a Justice for All workshop
- Protested Cecile Richards speech at the Herbst Theater and Ilyse Hogue president of NARAL at their “Power of Choice” luncheon
They strive to network with other local and state pro-life organizations and to protest events that will give the pro-life position visibility.
We are so proud to work alongside this crew of courageous pro-life leaders! We hope that you inspired to do more to actively engage your community with your Pro-Life Future chapter.
This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pro-Life Future Director, with the help and support of Terrisa Bukovinac, Pro-Life Future of San Francisco’s President. All images were obtained from the chapter’s public Facebook page. If you would like to share what your PLF chapter has accomplished, please contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org