Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/384/4836

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 March 2005

Bush threatens women's rights

THE RELIGIOUS right in the US has declared war on women and our reproductive rights. With Bush reelected, the Republicans' grip on Congress strengthened, and same-sex marriage bans passed in 11 states, the November 2004 election has emboldened the religious right, which is demanding paybacks for getting out the evangelical vote.

Jessica Johnston, Socialist Alternative, USA

Republicans have already carried out one attack on women's rights since the election. They amended a bill that Bush signed into law on 8 December allowing all healthcare providers to receive federal funding even if they are unwilling to provide a full range of healthcare services for women, including abortion services, counselling, or referrals (even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the woman's life).

A whole host of future attacks are being planned, including a ban on transporting minors across state lines to get an abortion (to avoid parental notification and consent laws) and a second attempt to ban RU-486, the abortion pill, which was approved by the FDA in 2000 and has been widely used in Europe for almost two decades.

The biggest battles will erupt when at least one, and possibly up to four, Supreme Court justices retire in the next four years. This will give Bush the opportunity to appoint anti-choice justices, possibly setting the stage for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade (the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalised abortion).

This comes against the background of decades of attacks on abortion access by the right wing. Since 1995 alone, state legislatures have enacted over 380 laws restricting abortion access by imposing waiting periods, parental consent or notification requirements, and stricter regulations on clinics. The number of clinics and doctors has dwindled to the point where now 87% of U.S counties do not have a single abortion provider.

Laws restricting abortion access disproportionately harm working-class women and women of colour, who cannot always afford to miss work, leave their families, travel to another city or state and pay for a hotel during the mandatory waiting periods. Abortions at ten weeks of pregnancy typically cost $375 and many women do not have insurance that covers abortion.

Rich women, though, can always afford safe abortions, whether they were legal or not, by hiring an expensive doctor or travelling wherever they needed to get one.

Who is really pro-life?

THE RELIGIOUS right has put the women's movement on the defensive in trying to make abortion a 'moral' issue by equating it with murder. If we are to defend our rights we must go on the offensive. The real issue at stake is the basic right of women to control our own bodies and our own lives.

Women will never be free if we can be forced to bear a child and raise it to adulthood against our will, robbing us of our own dreams and goals in life.

Reducing abortions has nothing to do with "saving lives." If it did, why do anti-abortion fanatics bomb abortion clinics and murder doctors? And making abortion illegal did not stop abortions from happening - it just made them humiliating, unsafe, and often fatal for women. An estimated one million women had illegal abortions in the US annually before the procedure was legalised in 1973, directly resulting in the deaths of 5,000-10,000 women every year.

The real goal of the 'pro-life' movement is to restore what they call "traditional family values," which means forcing women back into the home to perform countless hours of free domestic labour. It is relegating women to second-class status without the freedom to determine our own destinies.

The attacks on women's abortion rights are part of a general offensive by the ruling class against the gains of the progressive movements of the 1960s. By undermining the victories of the women's liberation, civil rights, and labour movements - such as abortion rights, affirmative action, and social security - the ruling class hopes to lower ordinary people's expectations in life and drive all workers' living standards down.

This is why defending abortion rights is a key part of defending all the gains the working class and oppressed people have achieved through struggle. To defend abortion rights effectively, the women's movement must link up with all movements of workers, people of colour, LGBT people, and the anti-war movement because all our struggles are connected.

For all women to truly have the right to choose, abortions must be free, accessible, and available on demand.

We need to also fight for free accessible birth control, scientific sex education (as opposed to proven-to-fail abstinence-only education), as well as free childcare, paid parental leave from work, equal pay for equal work, and a $500/week minimum income for the unemployed and those caring for children, the elderly, or the disabled.

Bush claims the November election gave him a mandate to implement his conservative social agenda. But in reality, only 60% of eligible voters voted in 2004, meaning only 30% of eligible voters actually voted for him.

The more Republicans and Christian fundamentalists attack women's rights, the more the true 'moral majority' will mobilise to stop them. The huge 1.15 million-strong march on Washington for abortion rights on 25 April 2004 was just a taste of our collective strength.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 March 2005:

Pensions: 'We're fighting back'

NHS: 'Over performing' but under-funded

Oppose Clarke's terror bill

Review: Detention undercover

When is a cut not a cut?

The real cost of war and occupation

Crisis for republicans in Northern Ireland - political alternative needed

Germany: Challenges, dangers and opportunities

Lebanon: A new crisis in the Middle East?

Bush threatens women's rights

Brazil: A bloody week in the countryside


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 March 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Women:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangleShocking insight into Isis

triangleTheresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

triangleHugh Hefner's exploitation of women

USA:

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: USA - The fight against Trump and the struggle for a socialist alternative

Socialist Alternative:

triangleBending the knee v Trump

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleYoung people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Socialist:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

Abortion:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

US:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2