Women’s rights are under attack! When Trump ran for president, he promised anti-abortion activists that he would work to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized a woman’s right to have an abortion.
In the first few months of 2019, eleven states have passed new laws virtually prohibiting a woman’s right to choose abortion. This is not a new attack on women. More than 900 anti-choice measures have been passed by state legislatures in the last two decades. Twenty eight states have laws which severely restrict access to abortion.
So far, judges have stopped the implementation of the most severe attacks on women’s right to an abortion declaring they are unconstitutional. Those attacking women’s right to choose want the legal challenges to their barbaric laws to end up in the Supreme Court where Trump has appointed justices who are expected to rule against Roe v. Wade.
Those promoting these attacks on women’s rights claim to be “pro-life.” For them it means dictating to a woman that she must give birth, regardless of the circumstance – if she was raped or if it was not her intention to bring a child into the world and is not in a situation to provide a decent life for a child.
For these anti-women activists, support for life ends at birth. Are these people, who claim to be so concerned about children, fighting for access to quality healthcare, education, housing and other basics of life? Of course not. Their campaigns have nothing to do with the quality of life for children. They only want to impose legal controls over women’s lives.
When a woman makes the decision to have an abortion, it may be one of the toughest decision she has to make, whether she has support from those who care for her or not. The decision is often based on concern for the child and its future. Regardless of what those who want to dictate their perverse sense of morality may believe, a woman bears ultimate responsibility for what she does with her body. A child is her responsibility, not theirs.
In the U.S. for children in a female-headed household, the poverty rate is nearly 50 percent. Being “pro-life” should mean supporting children’s rights to live full lives, free from hunger, living in communities that nurture their talents.
The federal government and some state governments are trying to eliminate funding for women’s health care by making it impossible to use government funds for care at clinics that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. This means denying access to pre-natal care, birth control, cancer and HIV screening, and other services. This is an attack on women’s health, not just abortion rights.
These attacks are being launched by a small minority. A recent national poll found that 77 percent of people in the U.S., more than three-quarters of us, believe that the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade while only 13 percent believe it should be overturned.
These rights were fought for and won when women defied the laws and those who attacked their right to make decisions about caring for their bodies. They stood together with their allies and took the fight into every corner of society and into the streets.
We can’t rely on friendly judges or politicians to defend women’s right to choose. We need to organize massively today, and show those in positions of power that our numbers are huge, and we will do whatever it takes to protect women’s rights to control and care for their bodies.Download PDF