Workers World condemns in the strongest terms the Supreme Court of the United States 5-4 ruling Sept. 2 that refused to restrict a Texas law banning abortion procedures as early as six weeks into a person’s pregnancy.
The Texas statute also codifies the right for anyone, including a complete stranger, to sue a person seeking an abortion or someone assisting them for $10,000. This is reminiscent of bounties used by slave patrols for the return of runaway enslaved Black people back to the plantation.
This is the same Texas with the highest rate of medically uninsured people in the country. Texas denied the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, which would have increased federal monies for Medicaid programs for low-income people, including those living with disabilities as well as single mothers and children. A disproportionate number impacted are people of color including migrants. Most working poor aren’t even eligible for Medicaid.
This is the same Texas that has executed far more incarcerated people than any other state since reinstating the death penalty in 1976. And Texas was the last state to grant freedom to once-enslaved people in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed in 1863.
So it should come to no surprise that, at this moment, Texas has taken the lead in instituting the most draconian anti-abortion law to date, with Mississippi, the poorest U.S. state, threatening to pass a similar law later on this fall.
Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of the groups suing Texas, stated: “We are devastated that the Supreme Court has refused to block a law that blatantly violates Roe v. Wade. Right now, people seeking abortion across Texas are panicking. They have no idea where or when they will be able to get an abortion, if ever. Texas politicians have succeeded for the moment in making a mockery of the rule of law.” (Washington Post, Sept. 2)
A threat to Roe v. Wade
This Texas law championed by the majority of SCOTUS puts into serious jeopardy Roe v. Wade, the groundbreaking law that won the right to abortion for all women, including the poorest. The landmark legal decision was issued in 1973 by one of the most conservative Supreme Courts, during the Richard M. Nixon administration. A mass movement led by women was decisive in forcing this ruling that declared women had the right to control their own reproductive system, not the church and not the state, including all levels of government.
Today, due to technological advancements, the right to abortion is also extended to gender-nonconforming people. The Texas law doesn’t even extend the right to abortion for survivors of rape and incest.
Now a majority of states are attempting to pass laws similar to Texas that could completely overturn Roe v. Wade.
Since the beginning of class society thousands of years ago, women were viewed as property by men, no different from a horse or cow. Women were used as incubators to produce sons as heirs. This recent law reinforces this second-class status for keeping women enslaved at home and disempowered, which has become increasingly more difficult economically with the raging pandemic.
It has just been announced that on Oct. 2, nationally coordinated marches will take place in every state capital to defend the right to abortion, initiated by at least 90 feminist organizations. The Democratic Party will no doubt play a leading role in calling for these demonstrations, which nevertheless will be of a progressive character. However, those on the left, including our Party, must take an independent, anti-capitalist position to distinguish from this bourgeois, racist and pro-war party, similar to the Republican Party.
We cannot rely on either of the bourgeois parties, SCOTUS or any arm of the repressive state to defend or save our class from right-wing slander and anti-abortion bigots. The best way to defeat these anti-woman and anti-oppressed gender forces, legal and extralegal, is to build a powerful multinational, multigendered and multigenerational movement, similar to Black Lives Matter, with sustained protests with mass and militant tactics to both defend and strengthen Roe v. Wade.
The right to abortion must be made part of a whole program of fightback to promote the right to raise healthy children in a society free from racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia; where health care including prenatal and neonatal care, affordable housing, nutritional foods, a clean environment and the right to a union job and livable wage are rights for all working and oppressed peoples. Defend Roe v. Wade! Down with SCOTUS!