Activist not afraid of racking up arrests “in effort to save lives”
A pro-life activist who was arrested twice in one week is urging others in the movement to abandon their fear of legal consequences by joining her in vowing that “we will not be silenced.”
Terrisa Bukovinac, a pro-lifer who also identifies as a liberal atheist, recently launched the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising and spoke about her arrests in an interview with The Christian Post. On Nov. 11, Bukovinac was arrested outside Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for “trespassing” alongside PAAU’s Communications Director Kristin Turner, Herb Geraghty of Rehumanize International, PAAU’s Director of Activism Lauren Handy and pro-life activist Cassidy Shooltz.
“We weren’t making noise,” she recalled. “We were just handing out literature there on the campus, and they told us it was an unlawful assembly. We had a group praying on one side, and then the four of us were just handing out literature. It’s a public hospital and it is public property.”
Bukovinac maintained that the group of pro-lifers never entered the hospital until after they were handcuffed. She spent about an hour in custody and will likely have to appear in court in the near future.
In a statement to CP, Zuckerberg General Hospital Chief Communications Officer Brent Andrew said: “Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is owned and operated in the public interest by the City & County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health. The hospital is, therefore, public property but it is not a public space. The campus is expressly intended for the provision of healthcare to our patients.”
“Protest activities, in particular, can interfere with our ability to provide those services, the privacy rights of our patients, and the creation and maintenance of a therapeutic environment of care. In this particular instance, our staff offered this group an alternative protest site on our campus away from patient care areas, but the group declined,” Andrew added.
Five days after her arrest in San Francisco, Bukovinac, along with Turner, Handy, Schultz and pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell and Jonathan Darnell, were all arrested as they handed out roses to patients seeking abortions at a clinic in Alexandria, Virginia. Much like their arrests in San Francisco, Bukovinac and the other pro-lifers were arrested for “trespassing.” But she told CP that the difference between the two incidents was that “we were physically there inside the clinic handing out roses to patients.”
After spending about four to five hours in custody, Bukovinac and the other pro-life activists were released. They’re all due back in court at the beginning of December.
Bukovinac predicts they won’t face jail time but expects they’ll be ordered to pay fines. She rejoiced that despite her arrest, the pro-life activists’ outreach at the Alexandria abortion clinic led to “five people [turning] away from their abortion appointments.”
“We will not be silenced,” she vowed. “We are at a precipice now. We are so close to a victory, and it’s going to require an immense amount of bravery from those within our movement.”
Bukovinac noted that her arrest at the Alexandria abortion clinic marked the third time she has been arrested in connection to her pro-life activism: “Last year, I was also arrested at Zuckerberg for the same thing, just for being outside the public hospital there.”
Bukovinac believes her multiple arrests outside the San Francisco hospital are because officials are “terrified of the people who work there and [patients] who obtain healthcare there finding out that they are engaged in horrific fetal organ harvesting procedures as well as experimentation projects.”