The Independent Socialist Group, sister organisation of the Socialist Party in the US, has been protesting against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that recognised a constitutional right to abortion. This is the most devastating attack on women’s rights in the country for the last five decades and will deny the right to abortion to up to 40 million women. And it will be poor and minority women whose lives will be most affected. Here we print the leaflet that the ISG has been distributing at the protests.
Workers won’t go back to the past
Stop the right-wing attack on civil rights
On 24 June the Supreme Court in the US overturned the precedent set by Roe v Wade that protected the legal right to abortion nationwide. As a result, millions of women in the United States will lose access to abortion as trigger bans kick in. This latest attack follows a host of oppressive laws against women and the LGBTQ+ community pushed by the Republican Party in state legislatures across the country.
Over the last month and a half since the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked, Biden and the Democratic Party failed to pass a federal abortion rights bill, despite the Democratic Party currently controlling the legislative and executive branches, and Biden’s campaign promise to make Roe v Wade the “law of the land”. Nor has the Democratic Party mobilised any mass protests or movements that could have offered a real opposition to this assault.
Almost 60% of people in the US believe that abortion should be legal, and unelected Supreme Court judges should not decide the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans. Only an independent working-class movement can lead the charge against these attacks on our rights.
The Independent Socialist Group (ISG) calls for:
- Mass protests and workplace actions by workers and youth to defend and extend access to abortion. We demand a real right to choose, including the legal right, the resources, and the freedom from social pressures when deciding to have or not have children.
- Unions, left groups, and progressive organisations must organize an independent movement of workers and youth, separate from the two corporate parties, that relies on mass mobilisations, not lobbying, to demand universal, legally protected, and accessible reproductive rights. Unions should organise workplace actions, including shutdowns, pickets and strikes, to defend the rights of their members and fight for universal healthcare, including access to abortion care.
- Expand access to reproductive healthcare. Replace the broken for-profit healthcare system with comprehensive universal healthcare that provides inclusive healthcare for women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of colour. Create good union jobs by building new public healthcare and childcare facilities and expanding public transit, especially to rural areas.
- We need a workers’ party. Democrats have used the promise of defending abortion rights to try to convince workers to vote them into office for the last 50 years. Workers, activists and left organisations must break from the Democrats to build an independent workers’ party, free of corporate money and accountable to its members. A party for working people can unite with mass movements and labour to fight for civil rights and help organise to defend and extend abortion rights. It could also fight for other reforms like universal healthcare, universal childcare, fully funded and staffed schools, affordable housing, and a future free from climate catastrophe.
- A new, democratic justice system. Replace the Supreme Court with a judicial system that is directly elected by workers in the US, with judges accountable to the people and subject to recall.