Three Questions To Ask Yourself About the Assault on Abortion Rights in Jackson and Albuquerque, and The Role You Should Play
By Rigel Kane | October 29, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
StopPatriarchy.org’s November counter-offensive against the attacks on abortion is underway this week! We are calling for people from all over the nation to contribute your voice, time, money, creativity, and courage to stand with us in Jackson MS, where the last clinic in the state is under threat of violence and impending closure, and in Albuquerque NM, where a 20-week ban on abortion would put out of business 2 of the only 4 late-term abortion providers left in the U.S. To find out more about the state of emergency abortion rights are in, concentrated in these two cities, read “Two Concentrations of the Fight Over Abortion Rights Loom in November: Everyone Who Supports Abortion Rights Must Rally in Mississippi and Albuquerque.”
1 in 3 women in the U.S. get an abortion. The complication rate for birth is ten times higher than the rate of complications with abortion. Abortion is a common and safe medical procedure that is necessary for women to be able to control their own lives. Flying in the face of these facts, a powerful anti-abortion movement is pushing to end all access to abortion, and to shame and criminalize the women who get them and the doctors who provide them. The attacks on abortion rights in Jackson and Albuquerque—intimidation, harassment and threats to the clinics, as well as proposed laws attempting to close these clinics and thus eradicate access in vast (and ultimately all) regions of the nation—come on top of three years which have seen record restrictions on abortion across the country; more than 50 abortion clinics have been forced to close. Whether the latest and most dangerous concentrated attacks are allowed to go down unchallenged—or whether they are resisted, exposed, and through this many more people are rallied to stand up for abortion rights—will have great bearing on the lives of women everywhere for generations to come.
The anti-abortion movement is represented by
- powerful Republicans in office that push and pass the laws that criminalize women seeking abortions,
- on-the-ground shock troops that storm clinics and scream boiling hatred at women, threatening doctors, and preaching vile bigotry and lies,
- patriarchs in the Catholic Church that fund and organize campaigns to end safe and legal abortion, and
- prudish fundamentalists in fake abortion clinics (“crisis pregnancy centers”) that bombard women and their partners with an arsenal of scientifically disproven theories (a.k.a. lies) about abortion.
The very existence of this movement and the current situation where its representatives run rampant, unchallenged in any meaningful way by the Democratic Party—and the fact that the larger right-wing program that, from the halls of power and into the streets, pushes and enforces fascist, anti-scientific, anti-immigrant, anti-poor, white supremacist, and woman-hating laws and values, makes up half of the so-called “legitimate” political discourse—is totally backwards and should be rejected as completely unacceptable. From the Republicans that don’t know the first thing about anatomy but instead uphold biblical patriarchy as law, to the fanatical anti-abortion organizations that fight to ban sex education from schools and oppose birth control, this is a woman-hating agenda; it aims to turn back the hands of time to the days when a woman’s ability and willingness to reproduce is the absolute value of her life, and that is an agenda that should have no place in the modern world.
So ask yourself...
How does this escalated assault on abortion affect you and the people you know?
This growing legitimacy and social acceptability of the anti-abortion movement in all its forms (as evidenced in its recent success, and the inability and unwillingness of those on the so-called left to confront it head on with undiluted truth-telling and uncompromising resistance to drive it out of existence), as well as the legitimacy of the whole hateful and oppressive package of the right-wing agenda, bolstered by the false “moral authority” of punishing women for having sex, and forcing women to either be abstinent, be mothers, or be criminalized, will only be strengthened if there is a state where abortions are impossible to obtain, or if the ability of women in this nation to obtain late-term abortions is slashed in half.
The formal legality of abortion on the federal level won through Roe v. Wade, based on the Fourth Amendment, cannot stand up to this state-by-state targeted legal attack on abortion providers, nor the stigma, nor the reign of terror of violent fascists that aim to slam women back into a time of open subordination. The legitimacy of the anti-abortion movement, the stigma against abortion, the “Cult of Motherhood,” and the open outlawing of abortion affects women EVERYWHERE.
Whether you are in Jackson or Albuquerque, or Fargo, Wichita, Little Rock, or Austin; whether you are in Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco, or New York City... whether or not an anti-scientific and deeply oppressive, Dark Ages morality—with its hateful view of, stifling role, and bleak future for women—can hold weight in the culture and be codified as law anywhere, affects the minds and lives of people everywhere.
What kind of person do you want to be?
Even if what happens in Jackson and Albuquerque did not affect you directly (which it does), who do you actually want to be in the world? Someone who cares about this issue on the surface but in reality sits back and watches this atrocious anti-abortion movement gain legal ground while winning hearts and minds over to a woman-hating agenda? Someone who nitpicks and criticizes those who are determined to fight for what is right? Someone who puts the blindfold on and hopes to wait out what is objectively a decisive moment in history, as to what role women will play in society for generations to come? Or do you want to be someone who uses their body and voice to DEMAND that the truth be told, loudly and boldly, and that women have unrestricted and unstigmatized access to abortion, fighting this thing through to WIN?
...finally, and most essentially...
What kind of society do you want to live in?
The kind of society that accepts forced motherhood and the criminalization of abortion is the kind of society that accepts slavery and the imprisonment and death of women who refuse to comply with the mandate of forced motherhood. This is not about some "side issue" or "special interest." This is a question of whether or not women will thrive, whether or not many women will live, and a question of what role women will play in society: that of thinkers, fighters, and leaders, or that of incubators, breeders, objects. This is about whether or not half of humanity will be considered fully human. Nothing less than this is what is at stake.
In Mississippi let’s stand together and say: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, for Every Woman in Every State. The tactics of terror and intimidation used by the anti-abortion movement—who in reality are the American Taliban: with their delusions of themselves as messengers from “God,” their false legitimacy, the lengths to which they are willing to go, and their absolute hatred of the notion that women could rise above the role they imagine to be their “natural place”—all of this will not stand in Jackson or anywhere else. This clinic stays open!
In Albuquerque let’s stand together and say: Abortion Providers are Heroes. Those doctors who put it all on the line to ensure that a women can get an abortion at any point during her pregnancy are nothing less than lifesavers, and it is a crime and a lie to vilify them and stalk them like prey. Many fetal abnormalities and life-threatening conditions are not evident until later in the pregnancy, and telling women they cannot end their pregnancy at any point is for some women a condemnation to a lifetime of unnecessary agony. Women’s lives should not be up for a vote!
Let's make November a month to remember, when the tide was turned against female enslavement and millions of women and men from across the nation called BULLSHIT on the whole anti-abortion movement, called that whole program out as the bigotry it is, and courageously stood up for the truth and for women’s liberation.
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