The Women’s Commission of the Socialist Party USA condemns the recent attacks on the right to abortion across the US. The right to choose when, if, and how to have children is rooted in the most basic right of bodily sovereignty, and we will not sit idly by while our reproductive rights are under attack. We will not accept half measures that allow for exceptions for ‘rape or incest’, we support the right to an abortion on demand, for any reason. Exceptions in the case of rape or incest define pregnancy as a punishment to be endured and carrying a pregnancy to term not as a choice but as a burden the government can force upon someone.
Like most anti-choice legislation, the recent abortion bans rely on junk science. The so called ‘fetal heartbeat’ is a misnomer, as at 6 weeks, an embryo has not yet developed a heart or heartbeat, spine, or brain. Detecting a heartbeat at this stage is done not by listening for the percussion of a heartbeat, but by detecting the electrical signal from a clump of vibrating cells. It is also before many women even know they are pregnant. Anti-choice legislators have shown repeatedly that they don’t understand the basics of human biology or development, and have no business making laws regulating our bodies.
These bans attack the basic rights of women and all people who can get pregnant. Forced pregnancy is a tool of an oppressive, misogynistic, transphobic government. It is a form of torture and a cruel and unusual punishment legislators would like to wield against those who do not conform to their hypocritical moral standards. Recently leaked GOP talking points showed the staggeringly vicious reasoning behind these laws, claiming that allowing victims of rape or incest to choose abortion would be a ‘second act of violence’ that could ‘physically or psychologically wound her further’. On the subject of rape and incest, the talking points claim ‘we should do absolutely everything in our power not only to punish these abuses but also to prevent these atrocities from ever occurring’. At the same time, Republicans blocked the passage of an anti-child marriage law in Idaho, and supported a bill that would prevent consent from being withdrawn after a sex act had begun in North Carolina.
Democrats have shown themselves to be the enemy of reproductive rights as well, supporting anti-abortion candidates, allowing laws that make abortion effectively inaccessible, and running a presidential candidate that claimed Roe vs. Wade ‘went to far’ and ‘I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body’. Both parties have fought policies and programs that prevent unwanted pregnancies: free contraception, comprehensive sex education, gender equality, wealth equality, free childcare, and free education. All of these are proven to lower abortion rates, if that is truly what they wanted to achieve. But banning abortion does not reduce them, it only makes abortions unsafe.
The recent attacks on reproductive rights are only a symptom of the gender inequality intrinsic to our current capitalist, patraiarchal system. To achieve universal access to quality healthcare, the inanlienable right of bodily soverignty, the ability to choose if, when, how we have children, and the complete liberation of all oppressed people-there is one clear path to liberation: working people must come together to build an intersectional, socialist feminist society!
From the Socialist Party USA’s platform:
“The Socialist Party is a socialist feminist organization that recognizes that a struggle against habitual male dominance and patriarchy must go hand in hand with any struggle against capitalism. Therefore, we pledge our opposition to all forms of sexism, and demand equality in all aspects of life.
· We demand full support for every woman’s right to choose when, if, and how to have children, including the right to free abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy, without interference or coercion. Clinics providing abortion services must have the full protection of the law.
· We call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and all other legislation that limits access to abortion services, thus denying “the right to choose” to millions of women, particularly low-income women, women of color, and young women.
Our bodies! Our choice!
Call to action: now is the time to act! There are a variety of ways you can support the fight for Reproductive Rights.
Boycott: Anti-abortion legislators have been funded primarily by six corporations:
Protest: If you aren’t already involved in reproductive rights activism in your area, these groups may be able to help you find events and actions nearby:
Center for Reproductive Rights
Feminist Majority Foundation
National Abortion Federation
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
additional groups: https://abortion.info/politics/pro-choice-organizations/
Tabling material, SP-USA’s pamphlet on Reproductive Rights, Socialst Feminism, Socialism and Women:
Community aid: If you live in the state or near a state where abortion access is restricted, offer escort services in places that offer abortions to help people who need an escort. Volunteer, donate materials or funds to local reproductive rights groups. List of abortion funds by state: