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Pussy Riot Going to Fight 'Patriarchal Ghosts' in Alabama

Feminist punk-rock group is heading there to hold protest concert on strict new abortion law
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2019 12:33 PM CDT
Nadya Tolokonnikova, left, and Masha Alekhina, both of Pussy Riot are pictured at BuzzFeed and Facebook's "Bowties & Burgers" event during the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association dinner on May...   (Photo by William B. Plowman/Invision for BuzzFeed/AP Images)

(Newser) – Alabama's strict new abortion law is "ridiculous." So says Pussy Riot, which has decided to take action on it, per AFP. The Russian punk-rock group will perform a protest concert in Birmingham on Thursday, with all proceeds set to go to Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund, which helps women seeking abortions in the state. "It is ridiculous to me that it's still a question in 2019 whether women can have an abortion," co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova says, adding that even Russia isn't as "patriarchal" on the issue as parts of the US. "We want to come to Alabama and support women who are in quite a critical and vulnerable position right now."

Tolokonnikova, 29, had a child when she herself was young, and she notes that's what has helped drive her feminist activism. "Having a baby who is a girl definitely convinced me that I should try to make my country and the world a better place for [her] to live in," she said. "I'm still fighting laws of patriarchal ghosts." The Alabama law is set to go into effect in mid-November, but both AFP and the New York Times note that court challenges will likely delay, if not completely halt, the law's rigid restrictions. "I'm looking forward to meeting inspiring people, who are surviving in an environment that is not particularly open to progressive people," Tolokonnikova says of Thursday's show. (Read more Pussy Riot stories.)

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