Popular TikTok ‘lumberjack’ praised after sharing pro-choice stance on abortion: ‘Thank you for this’

‘This means so much’

Related: Roe v Wade: Banning abortion won’t stop abortion, says Planned Parenthood

A TikTok influencer who built a large following with his wood-chopping videos has been widely praised after revealing that he is pro-choice.

Thoren Bradley, who goes by the username @bradley.thor on the app, where he has accumulated more than 5.2m followers, shared his stance on abortion this week after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v Wade.

In a video posted on 24 June, the lumberjack, who worked as a strength and conditioning coach at a university before becoming a full-time content creator, and has his master’s degree in exercise physiology, chopped wood as he joked about some of the “thirsty” comments he receives from viewers. Bradley frequently receives comments from TikTok users proposing marriage or claiming that his videos made them “pregnant”.

In the comments under the video, which has been viewed more than 3m times, Bradley addressed the pregnancy comments while simultaneously sharing his pro-choice views.

“Let’s say my video DID get somebody pregnant. It would be her choice to keep it or not,” the TikToker, who lives in Northern California, wrote in a comment that has been liked more than 38,000 times. In a follow-up comment, Bradley added: “If you don’t FW [f**k with] that, block me. On all platforms.”

The comments prompted praise from Bradley’s followers, with one person writing: “I am officially in love with you for this,” while another said: “This means so much.”

In a video created by user @simplysimone, she further shared Bradley’s views, with the TikToker telling her followers: “So if y’all were wondering, your favourite lumberjack on TikTok is pro-choice. And he said if you didn’t f**k with his choices, block him.”

TikTok influencer Thoren Bradley shares pro-choice views after Roe v Wade is overturned

The video prompted a response from Bradley, who wrote that he would “drive and pay for [his] sister’s visit to a clinic” and would “do the same for [his] daughter, if [he] had one”.

“Bare minimum,” he continued, before urging those “praising” him to support a “legally educated woman to get the right voices boosted” and tagging attorney @rebmasel, who has been using her platform to share information about abortion rights.

Bradley’s comments also circulated on social media platforms such as Twitter, where one screenshot of his comments was shared by Ryan Aguirre alongside the caption: “Breaking news: the hot wood chopping guy is good!” As of 28 June, the tweet has been liked more than 212,000 times.

In a video shared to TikTok on Monday, Bradley further clarified his belief “in a woman’s right to choose,” with the lumberjack then urging his followers to tag creators speaking knowledgably about the topic of abortion rights, so that he could use his page to spread awareness.

“If you are just now following my page because you recently learned about my belief in a woman’s right to choose, then I actually owe you an apology,” the TikToker said. “An apology that there was even an inkling or a doubt in your mind that I would feel any other way.

“I am educated in human exercise physiology, which is what I got my master’s degree in. But let’s not turn to me for your political education. Let’s turn to some people who deserve those eyes right now, on that specific topic.”

Bradley then encouraged his followers to “tag some of [their] favourite creators on that topic” in his comments. “Let’s throw them those views,” he added.

The video sparked renewed applause from Bradley’s followers, with one person writing: “This is the you we need.”

The comment prompted a response from the influencer, who expressed his disappointment that his stance on abortion would ever be in question. “The unfortunate thing is this was ever a question? With my following?! Like 75 per cent LGBTQ and women,” he wrote.

Bradley also responded to a comment from a viewer who urged him to leave “politics” off his TikTok account, with the creator explaining that his views on abortion don’t “feel like politics” to him. “These feel like inalienable rights to me. Decency,” he added.

As the comments under his video filled up with recommendations of creators using their platforms to speak about abortion rights in the US, Bradley continued to use his own TikTok account to amplify the voices of the fellow creators.

“Don’t leave this comment section without following one tagged page!” he wrote. “Let’s actually make this video count for more than me.”

Speaking to The Independent about his initial comment, and why he decided to share his beliefs on TikTok, Bradley said that his first comment on the topic stemmed from anger and frustration over the Supreme Court’s decision. “Out of frustration, anger, I didn’t know how to respond [to the news]. I responded from there alone, just out of frustration, and I ended up commenting under a video [of his] that was already going viral,” he recalled.

As Bradley noted, his comment then went viral on its own, an outcome he believes occurred because many of his followers “expect [him] to be right-wing sterotypically based” on his appearance and his content. As a result of the comment, Bradley said he lost 30,000 followers, and received a significant amount of backlash. However, he told us that he wasn’t concerned by the loss of followers, as he’d “rather people who don’t support women’s rights not follow me”.

“At the end of the day, what does it matter anyway,” Bradley said about the change in his follower count as a result of his public support for women’s rights. “If I live in a hole of a box and I get scared to voice my opinion, then I would become a shell of myself. So it was an easy decision for sure. It was a small tiny price to pay for a really clear right and wrong situation in my eyes.”

But, in regards to the many comments praising him for sharing his belief, and for the follow-up video he made on the topic, Bradley said many of his followers may have missed the point. “People were so relieved that I wasn’t a bigot or right-winged or an a**hole unaware of the world around me,” he said. “[But] the point wasn’t that I checked the box, and there we go.” Rather, he wanted to use the opportunity to encourage his followers to turn to creators who are educated on the topic of reproductive rights.

“It’s just virtue-signalling until someone actually follows somebody else to learn,” he said. “It is important for an influencer to bring attention, but redirecting people to an educational source is far more helpful.”

While Bradley said it never occurred to him not to say something about the Supreme Court decision, he told us that he is “not proud” of the way he phrased his initial comment, in which he told those who didn’t agree with his opinion to unfollow him, as he thinks he may have “squandered the chance to reach people on the fence” about the issue.

However, he also acknowledged that, in the past when he has shared some of his political beliefs in more nuanced ways, the videos didn’t get nearly as many views as those in which he takes his shirt off.

With his comments and support, which comes as abortion is projected to be banned in 23 states, Bradley joined countless others who are using the platform to advocate for women’s rights. After the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v Wade, hundreds of users took to the app to offer their homes as safe spaces for women seeking abortions.

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