(Image source: PAAU)

Recently we had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Taylor Smith, Director of Public Relations with Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising. According to their website – www.paaunow.org – PAAU’s mission “is to mobilize grassroots anti-abortion activists for direct action and educate on the exploitative influence of the Abortion Industrial Complex through an anti-capitalist lens”. PAAU sees itself in an explicitly progressive light, committing “to radical inclusivity while magnifying secular, leftist, and LGBTQIA+ identifying pro-life voices, especially those belonging to people of color”. Readers may remember that we interviewed PAAU’s founder and executive director, Terrisa Bukovinac, back in 2020 (see here and here).

I began by asking Caroline how she first got involved in pro-life activism.

“I got involved in the prolife movement in high school”, she recalls, “after I saw a photo of an aborted baby for the first time. This sparked something in me and I knew I had to devote my life to protecting the unborn. In college, I led my campus prolife group and started working full time in the movement after graduation. In the fall of 2021, PAAU launched and I became heavily involved in their work. I moved to DC this past fall to work as a full time activist with PAAU, and I am so happy to be able to do the work that I need to do in a city that I love!”

I’m curious to know what, in Caroline’s view, is PAAU’s most important activity.

“Bringing back the Rescue movement is PAAU’s key influence on the prolife movement. We are committed to nonviolence and committed to Rescue, which is where we go inside abortion businesses and offer resources to the moms inside, with the intention of convincing them not to kill their baby on that specific day. Rescue is love, the unborn have a right to be rescued before they are led to death.”

Here at the Minimise project we place a lot of emphasis on the role of conversations. Does Caroline have any tips for having good conversations about abortion?

“I would recommend watching videos from the Equal Rights Institute! They have great apologetics trainings that every pro-lifer should have a background in.”

I’m interested to know how the issue of abortion fits into Caroline’s broader worldview. What is the link between her approach to abortion and her approach to other issues?

“I am a progressive and I see being anti-abortion as a progressive view. I am against all forms of aggressive violence and I believe that human beings have a right to live free from violence. Abortion is violence, as is other forms of human rights violations that I also stand against.”

How does Caroline think the pro-life movement can keep abortion stigmatised without stigmatising women who have abortions?

“This is definitely a tricky topic. We have to be true to our principles. Abortion is murder, but forgiveness and love are essential. I want abortion to be stigmatized so that moms don’t feel comfortable going to get one. They shouldn’t feel comfortable paying someone to murder their child.”

Finally, does Caroline have any advice for the Irish pro-life movement?

“Consistency is key! Be true to your values, always believe that victory is attainable, and keep moving towards winning no matter what setbacks you have. Be as pragmatic as possible. Use every nonviolent tool you have in your toolbox to win victory for the unborn. It is our duty and obligation.”

What more can we add to that?

Follow Caroline on Twitter @CarolineTayLife