Sound of Our Revolution | May 2022: Pro-Abortion

Contributed by Jonny Collins

Do you know, I don’t think we’ve ever done a “Pro” playlist before. It’s always/ been “Anti”. I guess this one kind of is too, to the extent that it’s anti- the terrifying developments in America since the overturning of Roe V. Wade.

But I wanted to be more holistic than that, and I especially wanted to avoid using the term Pro-Choice, because everyone should be Pro-Choice – America the land of the free especially. But Pro-Choice as a term still stigmatizes abortion, and treats it like an inherently bad thing which is sometimes necessary, like a thought experiment. Whilst for many people and many circumstances I’m sure this is the case, I know a hell of a lot of people whose abortion was a huge positive and relief in their life.

I’m Pro Abortion. I’m Pro Abortion being available, accessible and destigmatized to all who need it. End of.

As an AMAB person, it’s obviously easy for me to say this knowing that I’ll never have to directly deal with it. But one thing that’s clear is that people who have and may have to use these services in the future need all the vocal support they can get. When that doesn’t happen, rich men strip away the already tenuous protections in place that ensure abortions are safe and accessible for everyone.

But bearing that in mind, I have mostly tried to stick to predominantly AFAB artists for this list – with a couple of notable exceptions.

Blizzard was founded with an ethos of platforming oppressed voices, not insisting on talking for them. So while I will be providing reasons and context for song inclusions, I am going to focus on talking about what I learnt from these artists – and trying very hard not to just apply my own existing views onto them without listening.

I should state at this point – that some of these songs may have cissentric language. I tried to avoid this as much as possible, but also I have relaxed my standards somewhat as even if some of the language is dated, a lot of the core messages of these songs are still important.

That being said, let’s kick off the list:

1. Roe V. World – War on Women

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

War on Women don’t fuck about. Straight to the point feminist hardcore with lyrics that don’t fuck about. The demands are clear, the context is succinct from the title, let alone the lyrics. Just a short and brutal protest anthem that any man in politics needs to hear before even thinking about getting involved in this kind of legislation

2. Fallopian Rhapsody – Lunachicks

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

This is one of Lunachick’s flagship anthems. Bit more melodic than War on Women, and a longer set up for similar messages, but equally powerful.

3. End of my Bloodline – Remix – Screaming Females

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

If you didn’t realize this playlist would be full of Riot Grrl and Riot Grrl inspired bands, then I don’t really know what to tell you. This one is a little bit smoother and slower than you might expect for the genre, but that doesn’t mean it packs any less of a punch.

What I love about this one is the empowerment of owning the choice not to reproduce and end your family line. The whole concept is kind of meaningless and arbitrary, but in a society that still puts a lot of store and value on legacy and specifically passing down their own genetics, confidently refusing to buy into the bullshit and just do what you want to do is a superb message.

4. Lost Woman Song – Ani DiFranco

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

The other big genre in this playlist is folk singer-songwriters, which I didn’t actually expect, but honestly makes a lot of sense. People able to get pregnant and by extension abortions picking up a guitar and just pouring their soul out, decrying oppression and vocalizing a lot of the already conflicting emotions that one may feel in that situation with no backing band is probably the most powerful way to put across any message, especially when the theme of isolation and lack of support are such prominent themes in this particular issue.

Ani DiFranco could have populated this playlist by herself – but I decided to go for an old one, as it balances genuinely beautiful musical composition with authentically telling her story.

If you like this, I advise you to check out more of her work, ‘cause it’s genuinely incredible.

5. No Apology – Anti-Flag

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

My rule for this list is anyone who doesn’t/didn’t have a Uterus has to work harder with their message and support to be included alongside these powerful artists speaking from a place of experience.

Anti-Flag very much are a group of cis boys who have clearly put a lot of effort into supporting causes that don’t directly affect them but they still strongly believe in. This song slaps – and I particularly like the stress on how banning abortions doesn’t stop them, it just stops safe abortions.

The truth is the men who want Roe V Wade overturned aren’t going to give a shit how many pregnant people die because they try less safe measures of abortion, especially as their own wives will be rich enough to get safe abortions regardless. So I don’t expect this argument to change anyone’s mind, but it’s still important to reiterate to remind people that “Pro Life” means nothing, and that Pro Life stance is actually very easily swayed – just apparently not when it comes to poor people choosing not to have a baby.

6. La Femme Fetal – Digable Planets

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

Like Anti-Flag, I feel these guys have earned their place on the list, by so earnestly and coolly breaking down the contradictions within the “Pro Life” rhetoric, offering unconditional support to the character in the song whatever decision she makes, and not being afraid to call the anti-abortion movement the fascism that it is.

7. Get Dat Fetus, Kill Dat Fetus – Jesse Novak

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

This was the first track I put on the playlist. Bojack Horseman’s abortion episode is one of the greatest bits of art Netflix has ever produced (and seeing recent content they’ve put out, I’m aware that’s not particularly high praise). Within the context of the episode, Diane finds out she’s pregnant, decides to get an abortion with the support of her husband, but then accidently tweets out that she’s getting an abortion from the account of one of her clients (she was managing social media for a pop singer) causing huge backlash – but also sparking a great marketing opportunity.

The episode has Bojack’s usual cynical outlook on Hollywood and the wider music industry, but the song that the character releases as a part of her supposed abortion is genuinely spectacular. It shocks and appals the conservative media, and even Diane at first, who is worried that taking such a blasé and graphic attitude to an abortion she wasn’t even having would make it harder to win the argument.

Eventually she realizes while at the clinic, that other people who are getting abortions found the song funny and reassuring. Abortion is a scary process to go through, even if you are 100% sure it is the right decision – partly due to the process itself but especially due to the media hysteria and routine protests from the Christian right. So having a fuck you song with lines like “I’m a baby Killer, baby Killing makes me Horny” and “I hope and pray to god my little fetus has a soul, ‘cause I want it to feel pain when I eject it from my hole” – creating a song that is taking all of conservative misogynists’ worst fears and turning them up to 11 so unashamedly is such a power move that, joking aside, I genuinely think this song is one of the most important pro-abortion songs to ever be released.

Did it spark backlash from the Christian Conservative sects who run America? Very plausibly. But did it allow large communities of people who’ve had or are going to have abortions a chuckle and a sense of solidarity in the face of the oppressive right and a potentially scary procedure? Absolutely.

8. Kill a Doctor for Christ – Roy Zimmerman

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

I was in two minds about this one but in the end I stuck it on as I really love the dichotomy presented as Pro Lifer’s support the death penalty for medical practitioners who perform or otherwise enable abortions. It’s presented in a silly satirical way, and while it’s perhaps a bit dated, I think the point still stands.

9. Will The Fetus Be Aborted – Jello Biafra

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

Another one that nearly didn’t make the cut. As much as I love Dead Kennedys legend Jello Biafra, there’s a little bit of questionable classist undertones to some verses of this track, listing reasons why people might be considering abortions, ranging from drug addictions, to just not wanting kids.

One of the reasons I kept this in is I think it’s really important that we move the narrative away from “Abortions should be legal, because maybe someone was raped or their life was at risk”. While that is true, not wanting a child is an equally valid reason to seek out an abortion, and we don’t talk about that enough. It’s all well and good crafting tear jerking tragic narratives about people in predicaments such as those mentioned, but we need abortion to just be an option available to people who want it – not just a less than ideal but ethically correct outcome to thought experiments.

I especially love the line “Kathy had two kids already
And an abortion is what she chose
Christian showed her a bloody fetus
She said, “That’s fine, I’ll have one of those””


10. Die of Shame – Tilt

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Tilt are a new band for me. I understand they were one of the bands signed to NOFX’s label – and supported Green Day in the early days – so you know they’re going to be pretty damn good.

This song is hard to listen to. Despite what I said in my last entry – that isn’t to say that using worst case scenario examples isn’t another viable tool in the fight for rights. Die of Shame is sung from the point of view of a pregnant girl who cannot risk even telling her family about the situation due to extreme social stigmas, let alone seek permission for safe termination as due to her age she required parental consent – which is wildly fucked up.

The singer then describes in a surprisingly minimal amount of detail yet still graphic way that she attempts to perform an abortion on herself – with the implications being that because of this she ended up unwittingly killing herself as well.

This song isn’t for the faint of heart. Even if this wasn’t a risk, abortion should be accessible regardless – but I defy anyone to listen to this song and not feel uncomfortable.

And good, that’s how you should feel.

The hauntingly catchy chorus gets stuck in my head a lot – and it takes a lot of talent for a band to construct such a viscerally horrifying narrative in such a short amount of time that is also an earworm. Absolute masterpiece, but not one I necessarily recommend listening to on a regular basis.

11. I am a Friend of the Foetus – Carole Rose Livingston

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy on:

During my initial research, I found at least 4-5 different versions of this song. This one I think is the original recording, although even then I have been unable to verify whether she was the writer, or whether the song predates that.

Regardless, this is such a well constructed folky protest song, that it’s no surprise it’s routinely covered by everyone. A perfect satire of the Pro Life stance – showcasing their obsession with foetal wellbeing, but none on the family, eventual baby, or indeed majority of the humans in the world.

12. Fight Like a Girl – Raye Zaragoza

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy On:

This was a new track for me as well – and yet another badass folk singer tackling the systemic removal of women’s* rights.

This song doesn’t explicitly mention abortion – although does talk about having their bodies policed, which I think encompasses that.

Mostly however this is a song that reclaims the phrase “Fights like a Girl” and empowers it, rather than being used as a misogynistic put down.

Truth is, from a purely cissentric view at least, girls have much larger fights on their hands, and there is no way to say someone fights like a girl without that reading to me like they fight like someone who has been oppressed for centuries and even today faces discrimination and the constant threat of rights being taken away.

Fight like a girl, Raye, you got this.

13. Hands Off – Colleen Kattau

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

Bit more of a country twang on this one. Despite negative connotations with the genre – I must say women doing country might be some of the most badass solo artists in music. Dolly Parton for one, no one can argue with that.

This track has another simple yet effective message, simply telling those who wish to control her body to keep their hands off. Ultimately that’s what this boils down to, controlling AFAB bodies. But whatever the supposed reasons, be they religious, ideological, or just plain perverse – there is no reason for any man to have any control over any bodies that aren’t theirs.

It’s always wild to me that these people keep touting the lie that America is the land of the free, despite routinely denying that freedom to anyone who isn’t a rich old white man. They have a very warped idea of freedom. Implementing archaic and oppressive religious boundaries on people who aren’t part of that religion? That’s religious freedom. Choosing not to have a baby? Well, that’s clearly just silly.

14. My Choice – Erika Kulnys

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

Shifting to a piano ballad now, but still with the same energy of every badass woman with a guitar we’ve had up until this point.

This is a song about … well, choice. I want to clarify my earlier statement again, while I don’t use the term Pro Choice – that’s not because I’m not Pro Choice – I’d just rather not pussyfoot around the actual issue, which is about abortion safety and accessibility.

At the end of the day though, choice is obviously a huge part of that. If you need convincing, just listen to Erika pouring her heart out about the right to have her own choice as a defiant rebellion against those who are desperately trying to take that choice away.

15. Nine Month Blues – Peggy Seeger

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Bandcamp Link:

Peggy Seeger is something of a legend if you don’t know her. Probably one of the best folk singers of all time – and was the original writer of the Song of Choice, the Crazy Arm cover of which frequently features on these playlists.

Nine Month Blues is more personal than that song, the Nine Month Blues in question obviously being pregnancy. This song takes an interesting tone, as it is pretty upbeat for what it is. The desire for abortions not being desperate or angry – but instead resigned to the fact.

I kind of have an obsession with upbeat sounding blues. I find it an interesting juxtaposition, that is a side of blues and depression that isn’t particularly explored enough. Depression isn’t always despair – sometimes it’s just sad, and things go on. Doesn’t make it any less painful, but sometimes that’s what it is.

For the subject matter this is a very catchy song, each verse representing a new pregnancy, and each one wanted less than before. She loves her kids, that is never questioned – but the fact is she never really had a choice in these matters. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a tragic story of rape or life threatening complications. Sometimes it can just be a case of not wanting any more kids, but not being able to do anything about it in cases of accidental pregnancy.

As I keep saying – absolutely as valid a reason as any other for abortion to be accessible. I will not stop making that point. It doesn’t have to be the literal worst case scenario for it to be viable.

16. Days of the Theocracy – Kristin Lems

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy on:

I don’t really know how to explain this other than if the soundtrack to Toy Story got really political. It’s just got that sound to it, I don’t quite know how else to explain it.

This song is about more than abortion – but abortion is notably the first line of the song, being the first right stripped away, and the first step back to theocracy. This song structurally works on a sliding scale, where each verse talks about the next steps in the fascists’ goal to go back to women and AFABs being barely recognized as citizens.

Whether this is what’s happening or not, well I guess only time can tell. But I for one don’t want to risk finding out. We need to be fighting this now and stopping it while it still can be. Whether it goes further than this or not (and all signs point to the former being true) we’ve already regressed far too much. We need to keep fighting. This is what happens – we got rid of Trump, and then half of the voter base just stopped caring about anything else. Leftists were saying constantly that a Democratic victory was the start, not the end goal. And this, this is what happens when your engagement with politics ends after polling day.

You cannot just elect someone and leave them to do it all. Anyone who’s ever fought for marginalized rights knows that it’s a gruelling process that requires near constant alertness and activism. While I don’t blame anyone for being drained by that, we need those less marginalized in particular to keep up the pressure, or things will just keep going back, and all the progress that has been made over the last 40 years will be gone before you know it.

We’re already looking at new Section 28s in America, reproductive rights are critical. All it takes is for Lucas and Walliams to get a new show commissioned together and we’ll be firmly back in the 2000s.

17. Rich, White, Straight Men – Kesha

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Been looking for an excuse to bring this one back, not gonna lie. Again this one isn’t specifically about abortion – although it is alluded to very early on in albeit very cissentric language.

This song features a circus style beat, which is a genius move to expose all the rich white straight men in power as the clowns they are – and lyrically it’s about all the things that would be better if the Rich, White, Straight Men’s monopoly on politics and culture was gone.

While it is ambitious to assume that Reproductive rights, gay rights, and free education for all would be a thing if we just got rid of all the rich white straight men – I don’t think anyone can deny that things would be at least somewhat better in that scenario. Specifically the rich part. Rich white straight women are no better, as May and Thatcher have proved conclusively.

18. Rosie Jane – Malvia Reynolds

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

This is an historic song, possibly being one of the earliest recorded pro-abortion songs. Certainly an early landmark track that is still relevant today.

The chorus is possibly a bit victim blamey – however on a re-listen it seems even though Rosie Jane was being talked about in third person, I kind of got the vibe that the chorus is her internal monologue, which makes some of the things that were said less sketchy.

Even if that’s not the case however, this is still a very important pro-abortion song, and should be remembered and listened to today.

19. Choices – Jeffrey Gaines

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Another cis man, I’m sorry. This classic, soulful rock tune is, as you have guessed, about choices when it comes to reproduction, including abortion. This one specifically takes the angle that abortion is preferable to a child going unloved, which is an argument that hasn’t been explored yet in this playlist.

While I don’t think this argument has as much weight as some of the others we’ve seen, it once again highlights the hypocrisies of the Pro-Life, who don’t actually give a fuck about children when they are born – and are instead just perversely obsessed with forcing those able to give birth to do so.

It’s an interesting angle for sure, and there’s room for it on this playlist.

20. The Right To Choose – Oi Polloi

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

They’re back again, yay! Oi Polloi are good lads – and along with Anti-Flag have pretty much proven themselves as worthy of inclusion on pretty much any of our playlists.

From here on out the playlist gets back into the Rock, Punk and even some Metal – and Oi Polloi are a great way to kickstart us back into that.

21. Struck A Nerve – Machine Head

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Machine Head are definitely a tad cringe at times – but this song talks about killing the pro life in its second line – so it was a no brainer really.

22. Pro-Life? – Svalbard

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy On:

This was a very late addition to this playlist, and I’m very glad it was brought to my attention. I don’t actually know how to define this music. It’s somewhere between Indie rock and Black Metal. Oh, is that what Shoegaze is? I’ve never actually bothered to learn. That’s how I’m defining it from now on anyway.

This is a 5 minute outpouring of emotions and deconstruction of Pro Life arguments. Even if you can’t decipher the lyrics, the feeling hits hard anyway. “Is it Pro Life to have no rights?” What a succinct summary of everything I’ve written so far. Fuck, I should’ve just gone with that. So sorry for making you read everything else that came out of my brain.

23. Hangerz – Pussy Riot

Streaming On: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube

Buy Here:

I actually don’t know what I did with myself before I started listening to Pussy Riot. They were kind of always on my radar – but I always assumed they were a kind of generic Riot Grrl gimmick act. Terfs have put me on edge around any feminist work that focuses around genitalia unfortunately.

Pussy Riot are very much not that however – and I can’t think of a better track to end this playlist on. The beat hits hard, lyrics are fire, feature verses fit incredibly well. This, this is how you do a 21st century protest song.

And that’s all of the tracks! For a change every track was on every streaming service – so if, like us, you’re trying to wean off of SpotifyDeezer and Tidal are viable alternatives for this playlist, and both pay artists better, and as far as we’re aware don’t actively fund war crimes.

If you want to really support the artists in question, we have included purchase links where we have found them – Bandcamp where possible, but sometimes Amazon or Apple if those are the only ones.

Join us on on the 30th May where Myself, Bobbie Jones, Katie Mitchell, Ela Bambust, Sam Lake, Eliott Simpson and Sully O’Sullivan will deconstruct the major news events of the past month – and book tickets to our next live show at Gullivers on the 13th June here.