Pussy Riot set to perform in Alabama and raise money to counter 'ridiculous' abortion ban

PHOTO: The members of Pussy Riot pose for photos backstage during Ladyland Festival at Avant Gardner on June 28, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York.PlaySantiago Felipe/Getty Images, FILE
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A Russian punk band well-versed in protests is lending its support to those fighting to overturn abortion restrictions in Alabama.

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The band Pussy Riot is set to perform in Birmingham on Thursday, with at least some of the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood and Yellowhammer, a fund for those seeking access to abortion in the sate.

The performance comes after Alabama state legislators passed the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, all but banning abortions with the only exception being in cases when the mother's health is threatened.

The bill was signed into law in mid-May by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, but has yet to go into effect due to legal challenges.

Brian Teasley, co-owner of Saturn, the concert venue where the concert will be held, said that organizers had been in talks with Pussy Riot's team about arranging a performance before the debate over the abortion law gained national attention.

PHOTO: Pussy Riot performs onstage during a music festival at Avant Gardner on June 28, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York. Santiago Felipe/Getty Images, FILE
Pussy Riot performs onstage during a music festival at Avant Gardner on June 28, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York.

The uproar over the law has since added another dimension to their planned performance, Teasley told ABC News.

"It just gave it a little more of a layer of importance to them to come to Alabama and play this show, as opposed to it maybe just being a concert where Pussy Riot was playing. But [for] a band that kind of revolves around protests, it just kind of made sense," Teasley said.

Pussy Riot members have been at the center of political controversy before, and have been outspoken critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and advocates for women's and LGBTQ rights.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, a co-founder of Pussy Riot, told Agence France Presse that "it is ridiculous to me that it's still a question in 2019 whether women can have an abortion."

PHOTO: Kelli Thompson chants at the Alabama State Capitol during the March for Reproductive Freedom against the states new abortion law, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, in Montgomery, Ala., May 19, 2019. Michael Spooneybarger/Reuters, FILE
Kelli Thompson chants at the Alabama State Capitol during the March for Reproductive Freedom against the state's new abortion law, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, in Montgomery, Ala., May 19, 2019.

"We want to come to Alabama and support women who are in quite a critical and vulnerable position right now," she told AFP. "Many Americans, they believe that Russia is a patriarchal country -- it's true in a lot of ways, but when it comes to abortion rights, it's not questionable."

Abortion has been legal in Russia since 1920, and the current law allows abortion up to the 12th week of a pregnancy and after that in some cases.