The stakes are high. Yes Roe vs. Wade is overturned, a 1931 Michigan law will immediately make it a crime to perform or have an abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. As activists fighting against this terrible outcome, we believe it is crucial for the movement to discuss the political perspectives and strategies needed to defend abortion rights.
To fight for deer and beyond
The current challenge of Roe vs. Wade brought on by the far right has intensified the need not only to defend abortion, but also to expand access under a federal law that guarantees free, safe, on-demand and unapologetic abortion. Even Bernie Sanders has said Congress needs to pass legislation to codify abortion. This was one of the demands of the movement in Argentina which recently won its fight to legalize abortion. They fought for a federal law so the courts and municipalities couldn’t take it away from them. Indeed, since Roe vs. Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, there have been almost constant efforts to restrict and limit abortion rights on the grounds that it is not a government-protected right federal established by Congress.
The impasse of recourse to the Democrats or an electoral strategy
As a speech published by left voice given by a feminist activist from Detroit, the Democrats wasted multiple opportunities to pass a federal law protecting the right to abortion. She even quoted Obama’s 2007 speech in which he promised, “The first thing I would do as president would be sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Two years after giving that speech, he said abortion was not his highest legislative priority. So it should be clear to everyone that, contrary to what Joe Biden said, “shoot them in the leg,” electing more Democrats in the midterm elections will not guarantee abortion rights. In fact, Democratic Party leaders like Pelosi and Schumer are campaigning for Henry Cuellar, a pro-life Democrat from Texas, instead of his pro-choice progressive opponent Jessica Cisneros.
The Democrats are a political party of capitalism, as both Biden and Nancy Pelosi have publicly stated. So what the Democrats want most is to stabilize the system. They don’t seriously fight for many of the issues they say they support, because that would create an avenue for the working class and the oppressed to fight for our demands. This is why our release can never be achieved through the Democratic Party.
The need for self-organization and action committees
To bring the full power of the movement to bear on this issue, we must develop organizations that are democratically controlled by the grassroots of the movement. Such organizations, whether they are action committees in schools, workplaces, or coalitions like the Michigan Coalition for Reproductive Liberation (MCRL), must be based on collective leadership that articulates the interests of working class and oppressed people – especially women, trans, non-binary and other LGBTQ+ people, and people of color – who are directly affected by the threat of overthrow deer. This means that organizations must be politically independent to ensure that the goals of the movement are not overridden by electoral aspirations or the needs of politicians running for office. These committees and coalitions must operate on a democratic basis and create opportunities in which the movement as a whole can collectively discuss, debate and decide in which direction the movement is heading, what its demands are and what strategies and tactics it will employ.
For a united front to defend the right to abortion
The state forces and institutions we face are massive; therefore, we can only win through mass action. At the same time that we create grassroots organizations and action committees, we must mobilize mass organizations, such as trade unions and large social justice organizations like Planned Parenthood or National Organization for Women (NOW), which support the right to abortion. At a time of heightened labor struggles, we must ensure that these organizations which represent thousands, if not tens of thousands, of workers and oppressed people use all their might to fight for the lives of the people they represent, instead of to let all their energy go to the Democratic Party, a party more invested in stabilizing capitalism than in the struggle for justice or liberation.
Rights are won on the streets
While Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and seven Michigan county attorneys have signed a pledge not to enforce the abortion ban, that pledge will only be a token gesture unless the movement goes further. bat to prevent the enforcement of the ban. This would include militant defense of abortion clinics that refuse to close.
Another problem is that many abortion providers, according to the the wall street journalplan to close if deer is overthrown. These providers and some doctors fear arrest. While this concern is understandable, they should be more concerned about the social ramifications if they do not bravely challenge a ban, a challenge the street movement is ready to meet.
The movement must urge these providers to stay open or convince the workers and doctors who run these clinics to keep them open alongside the movement if the clinic owners refuse to do so. Such a bold act would create an important opportunity to challenge the ban and forcefully demand the passage of state and federal law protecting the right to abortion.
In return, the movement should be prepared to employ multiple tactics to disrupt “business as usual” and pit the collective power of the working class and oppressed against the repressive actions of the state and the right wing, which is bent on create a dystopian future in which people with wombs have no control over their bodies or their lives. We must organize walkouts, work stoppages and disruptive protests to sing “No justice, no peace!” means something.
The movement must rely on the collective power of the working class and not invest its energy or limited hopes in lawsuits – the courts have already shown why we cannot rely on them – like the one filed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Planned Parenthood, or with the goal of putting abortion rights on the November 2022 ballot in Michigan. It is in fact an undemocratic practice to allow an electorate to decide the rights of a marginalized group. If that was our method during the civil rights movement, we would never have defeated Jim Crow in the South.
This fight is national
The impending overthrow of Roe vs. Wade, and decades of erosion of abortion rights at the state level, make it clear that Supreme Court rulings alone are not enough to protect the rights of the oppressed. Our fight must be national or else risk fracturing into a state-level organization that, at best, can be co-opted to elect politicians on broken promises to protect abortion rights on the one hand, or directed towards the organization of unsustainable and risky networks for clandestine abortions on the other hand. Worse still, focusing only on local struggles leaves us isolated and disconnected from the rest of the movement, whose solidarity we will need, and to whom we will have to show solidarity if we have any chance of defeating the right and other sectors of the state seeking to enforce the ban. The nationwide abortion rights movement must be prepared to be mobile and act boldly and unapologetically to champion abortion rights campaigns in states with the strongest anti-abortion laws. more oppressive, like the Freedom Riders who traveled to the Jim Crow South to support anti-segregation struggles. .
At the national level, we must demand a federal law guaranteeing access to free, safe and legal abortions, and this demand can only be won by a movement that combines its forces from local struggles into a national struggle. Only a nationally coordinated and politically independent movement, like the one modeled in Argentina, can challenge the co-optation of politicians who have campaigned over the past 50 years on justified fears that the right is disenfranchising us while taking no measures to protect them. .
Linking the abortion rights movement to other struggles of the oppressed
Politically independent forms of organization at the national level will only become more important as the rights of other oppressed groups like trans youth, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants and racial minorities continue to come under attack and can be eroded from new ways opened by the previous one. insinuated by the escape Roe vs. Wade decision. The language in the leaked Supreme Court decision questioning the right to privacy paves the way for new legal means by which the right can impose heteropatriarchal white capitalist hegemony. States like Texas, Arizona, Louisiana and Alabama have already begun legislating attacks on trans healthcare and the ruling could pave the way for reinstating sodomy laws and overturning sodomy laws. the decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Access to birth control may also be at risk in some states. The decision may even have implications for government surveillance and data privacy.
The abortion rights movement must recognize that these struggles are interconnected, and it must be prepared to act alongside other oppressed people to engage in a common struggle and increase our collective power.