OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Oakland-based rock apparel company is selling a politically charged t-shirt emblazoned with a message aimed directly at President Trump and GOP lawmakers working to pass abortion bans in several states.
The clothing brand Rock Roll Repeat is selling black t-shirts that bear the message “ABORT UNWANTED PRESIDENCIES” in white capital letters on the company website. The production of the shirt started three years ago, inspired by Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States.
“I came up with the idea for these shirts the day after the 2016 elections,” explained the owner of Rock Roll Repeat Joshua Shame in an email. “I was frustrated and racking my brain for some way to push back against it when I heard a saying that said: it’s the artist’s job to make the revolution irresistible. The Abort shirts were available online in time for the inauguration.”
Interest in the shirt has spiked with the recent passage of the new law restricting abortion in Alabama.
The Alabama legislation bans abortion in almost all cases, making it the most restrictive of the seven laws passed by state legislators this year narrowing abortion options in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Utah and Arkansas. The new abortion restrictions could eventually be used to challenge the constitutional woman’s right to choose established by Roe v. Wade in 1973.
President Donald Trump, the unnamed target of the t-shirt’s message, has been vocal about his support for banning abortion, both in his courting of the conservative Christian vote and his selection of pro-life officials like former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence.
The passage of the Alabama law struck a chord with Shame.
“I actually grew up in Mobile, Alabama, (originally from Pensacola, Florida), so these recent bans literally hit home for me,” Shame wrote. “Being a white male, raised and socialized in the south has enough of its own baggage to unpack without this kind of s–t.”
Shame said he expects more states to pass more restrictive abortion laws in the weeks to come.
“These laws are clearly a tactic (they’ve said so) to force the issue to the Supreme Court where Trump has the deck stacked with Kavanaugh,” Shame said in an email. “I’m filled with the same frustration and am planning another design but in the meantime I’m donating partial proceeds for the Abort tees.”
The shirt selling for $30 on the Rock Roll Repeat website will also raise funds to fight back against the recent anti-abortion laws.
“In order to combat attacks on women’s health, 25% of this shirt’s proceeds are being donated to Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund in AL,” a message on the website page offering the t-shirts for sale reads.
The demand for the shirt has been high enough that men’s shirts and some women’s shirt sizes have been back-ordered.
Founded in Oakland in 2016, Rock Roll Repeat specializes in t-shirts featuring photos of punk rock icons like Alice Bag and Darby Crash of the Germs as well as clothing with graphics and phrases inspired by the classic early punk era of the ’70s.