|This slightly edited joint statement was released on June 24 by Terrie Cervas, GABRIELA USA Secretary General and Angelica Lim, GABRIELA USA International Relations Officer and International Women’s Alliance Secretariat Member. You can email both organizations at [email protected] and [email protected].
GABRIELA USA and International Women’s Alliance (IWA) vehemently condemn the United States Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade and call on all people to defend basic human rights to health care, including access to abortion, and to fight the attacks on women’s rights.
Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the constitution of the United States protects a pregnant person’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. This was incredibly important, because previously while the wealthy had access to safe abortions and family planning, the working class and poor had to resort to forced pregnancies or back-alley abortions that could either permanently harm their body or be fatal. The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is not only an attack on women and the working class, but an attack on fundamental human rights by U.S. imperialism through the U.S. Supreme Court.
Many women have an abortion not as a choice but as an economic necessity for survival. In capitalist society, neoliberal policies have enabled multinational corporations to drive down wages and cut regular employees in favor of temporary workers. These same neoliberal policies allow the government to cut funding for assistance programs and social services needed by the people. Poor women and the rest of the working class have no social safety net and struggle to barely survive. Working-class people who seek abortions do so because the economic impacts of a forced birth would force them deeper into poverty.
The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade serves as an assault on the working class — who include migrants, women of color and trans people. We can expect that this ruling will result in the criminalization of these communities, simply for seeking a medical procedure that would mean their survival.
Impact extends beyond abortion ban
The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade does not just result in a ban on abortion. This will have a huge ripple effect that will lead to other fundamental human rights being taken away from the majority of people in the U.S. Taking away the right to an abortion impacts the most marginalized and working-class birthing people, but it also allows for further attacks on the LGBTQ community, specifically potential legislation against the right to use contraception, the rights to same-sex marriage and interracial marriage, anti-trans legislation and even the right to vote.
The United States is not alone in the fight for access to abortion. In countries where abortion is illegal, specifically in underdeveloped countries, women and people who can get pregnant turn to unlicensed and illegal abortion clinics, putting them at more risk and vulnerable to complications including death. Abortions tend to be more readily available in wealthier, more developed nations, where there are less unplanned pregnancies, more access to sex education, family planning and birth control. Women from developing countries are three times more likely to experience unplanned pregnancies and are more often victims of sexual crimes.
The right to have abortions is more than just an issue of bodily autonomy but an act of resistance against a system that uses banning abortions as a form of control over women and pregnant people. Many developing countries around the world maintain backward and patriarchal views and laws that prohibit women from gaining political power. In advanced capitalist countries, the issue of abortion is turned into a moral and political issue for opposing members of the ruling class to condemn their opponents.
GABRIELA USA and IWA join the fight against the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court as part of U.S. imperialism’s state apparatus. Under capitalism, the government will only continue to chip away at basic fundamental rights of the people, upholding the interest of the ruling class. We recognize and uphold OUR right to refuse this decision, through protest, resistance and fighting back. We join the fight in defense of basic health care and human dignity. We will rise united in action. We call on all GABRIELA USA and IWA member organizations, our solidarity allies and human rights defenders all over the world to:
- Organize protest actions to uphold and defend legal access to abortion and health care, a fundamental right;
- Expose the reactionary nature of the Supreme Court, as a tool of the U.S. imperialism to repress the people;
- Build and strengthen the militant women’s movement by joining GABRIELA USA and International Women’s Alliance.
We must unite, organize and join the struggle against these reactionary and fascist attacks by U.S. Imperialism and its denial of the right to access abortion and health care. The people play the decisive role in history; and through our collective struggle, we will defeat Imperialism and all of its repressive policies.
Uphold and defend access to safe abortions!
Expose the rotten U.S. government and its anti-people laws!
Fight for health care and human rights!
Unite in struggle against imperialism!
* According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, abortion is prohibited in 24 countries around the world including El Salvador, Honduras, Egypt, Madagascar and the Philippines. Globally, more than 25 million unsafe abortions occur every year (97% performed in developing countries), resulting in the deaths of about 39,000 women and girls and leading millions more to be hospitalized with complications, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most of these deaths are among poor women living in lower-income countries — with more than 60% of them in Africa and 30% in Asia.