We can’t wait another lifetime for reproductive rights

by  Helen Gilbert, Radical Women, http://www.socialism.com

Radical Women has been fighting for reproductive rights since our founding. We’re proud our earliest members worked with Black women from the anti-poverty program to hold one of Washington’s first rallies for legal abortion at the state capitol in Olympia. We’re proud Radical Women have confronted the fetus fetishists in clinic defense in Seattle, LA, NYC, Melbourne, and elsewhere. We need to step up clinic defense now because the abortion bans are going to make anti-choicers even more aggressive.

We need to be just as aggressive defending women’s lives. The religious right is not just about stopping abortion but controlling every aspect of women’s lives. We need to stand with those most under attack: Black and Native women who are at highest risk of death in childbirth and infant mortality. We need to fight with a multi-issue focus knowing reproductive justice includes free abortion on demand, affordable childcare, no forced sterilization, healthcare and housing for all, and an end to the racist prison pipeline that separates families just as much as ICE does. To keep abortion legal, we need a militant, feminist movement that’s out in the streets with all communities under attack. We need to call on our unions to defend the rights of their members. Assaults on legal abortion are part of the reactionary agenda of the Trump regime and the far-right.

Since Roe v Wade was won, we’ve spent a lifetime trying to hold on to our rights. We’ve been told to pin our hopes on one more candidate, one more sympathetic judge. Meanwhile, we’ve lost more and more ground. This incremental fight isn’t working.

We can’t spend another lifetime to win women’s right to control our own bodies, or trying to stop racist and anti-trans violence and deadly U.S. wars that victimize women and children all over the world. As we mobilize for abortion rights and reproductive justice, we need to build a movement to overthrow this whole, woman-hating racist capitalist system.

We can’t take another lifetime to win a socialist world, where human rights and environmental sanity are the highest values. Let’s build the reproductive justice fight into a mass movement that challenges patriarchal capitalism at every level. That’s the only way to be sure that the rights we fight for today will still exist tomorrow.

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