AAF PRESS STATEMENT ON ARREST OF GOP AIDE AND “PRO-LIFE” ACTIVIST CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Abortion Access Front is sickened by the news that Ruben Verastigui, a former GOP aide and “pro-life” activist, has been arrested for distributing child pornography.
There is much hypocrisy in this horrifying story, but none moreso than the fact the alleged predator has dedicated his life to this so called “pro-life” movement.
And let’s be clear, he isn’t a hobbyist. According to Verastigui’s LinkedIn page, he started a pro-life college club, and has worked for many “pro-life” groups, including FOUR of the most influential anti-abortion organizations in the country: March For Life, Students For Life, Susan B. Anthony List and Live Action.
And each one of those outfits has peddled dangerous lies that abortion providers are baby-killers, and that queer and trans folks will harm children and families.
Those incendiary claims have brought violence and harm to reproductive healthcare professionals and LGBTQ+ citizens, and has led to legislation that is destroying their lives. For years, AAF has been tracking the harassment and extremism of this movement, and we have seen some horrific acts perpetrated in the name of “protecting innocent life” including arson, bombing, and murder. But this story brings the most dispicable irony of all- while devoting his life to “saving the babies”, this monster now stands accused of not only distribution of child pornograhy, but infant pornography.
It may be as disgusted as we have ever felt collectively as an organization.
Even more appalling is the simpering distance-creating press releases issued by his former employers. Is the deafening roar of extremist anger only reserved for the oppression of abortion, but not on infant pornography? Their bread and butter is repeatedly and falsely accusing others of predatory behavior. Where is the outrage about his infant pornography? The evident hypocrisy of these groups screams “injustice.” It should be illegal for them to claim to be “pro-life.”
Lizz Winstead, AAF Founder and Chief Creative Officer sums it up this way:
“Unlike QAnon conspiracy theories about a Deep State Democratic party sex trafficking ring, this is a real life child porn distribution ring that a former Trump administration and GOP aide is accused of participating in.
Looks like the pedophile call is coming from inside the glass house.”
We are deeply saddened, but not surprised.
Just last week, Abortion Access Front virtually protested the March For Life, to counter the harmful and inflammatory rhetoric promoted each year at this event. Today we are sounding the alarm about how many organizations who participate in March For Life activities have employed this person.
Abortion Access Front has been showing the media, politicians and the public the intersections between violent white nationalists and anti-abortion extremists. Now add alleged child pornographers to the list of research we will be doing.
We hope this story finally inspires more media outlets to join us, to dig deeper into the dangerous behaviors of this hypocritical movement that hides behind the lie of “protecting life,” while they continue to shatter it daily.