Unapologetic Support for Abortion Rights Must Be a Pillar of the Left

This week, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the case that will determine the fate of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and more broadly, the fate of Roe v. Wade. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, or the “Pink House,” due to its color, is the only abortion clinic left standing in Mississippi. Many commentators have predicted that the. Dobbs The decision, which is expected in June or July will be announced, will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade — the 1973 case that legalized abortion in the United States up to at least fetal viability, around 23 to 24 weeks — or revising it to leave abortion laws up to states to decide. On Wednesday, both anti-choice and pro-abortion demonstrators from across the country congregated in the nation’s capital, including members of the Pinkhouse Defenders, Shout Your Abortion, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Thank God For Abortion, Abortion Access Front, Plan C and NYC for Abortion Rights.

The abortion hearings and the abortion struggle have changed dramatically in the past 50 years. Roe. The right has appropriated the tactics and the language of the left and of the civil rights movement, casting embryos as a vulnerable class of human beings at the mercy of the murderous “abortion-industrial complex” and pregnant people as its dupes. Clinic invasions — which have resurfaced after the lull following the passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act — are cast as “civil disobedience.” Perhaps most laughably, the argument advanced by Mississippi’s attorney general during hearings is that, since women in Mississippi can have thriving careers as well as raise families, abortion rights are no longer necessary. As of writing this, Mississippi has some of the weakest worker protections and family provisions — as well as some of the highest childbirth and infant mortality rates — in the country, with deep racial disparities.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke recently about Dobbs: “The sponsors of this bill, the House bill, in Mississippi, said we’re doing it because we have new justices.… Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” It is obvious that Sotomayor is referring to the crisis of legitimacy in the state. The economic crises, austerity, growth of the far right, climate change and COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the conditions that sparked recent uprisings for Black lives against police and prisons, have all shown that the capitalist state doesn’t care about our lives or if we die.

The anti-abortion movement has been very successful in capitalizing on the failures of neoliberalism, the “pro-choice” nonprofit complex, and Roe itself, which does not specifically guarantee abortion as a right, but defends a “right to privacy” that anti-abortion laws supposedly contravene. The far right is committed to the fight against abortion. It is impossible to understand how the one and the other are growing. The right is becoming more and more dependent on the liberal facades of state and its institutions, such the Supreme Court and electoral system. This is because courts are not neutral. We are the ones who have to transcend them. Let’s face it, RoeRichard Nixon won the election with four Democrats and three Republicans as the majority and one Democrat, and one Republican dissenting. What was the difference? The abortion and women’s health movements, supported by physicians, and the women’s liberation and gay liberation movements, which came out of the civil rights movement.

Until the Left takes up the fight against abortion as essential to the freedoms and dignity of all working people, basic bodily autonomy will be a privilege reserved for the wealthy and white. The left will continue to miss an opportunity to wage a multiracial and liberatory struggle that brings together women, LGBTQ people, and the working class.

What’s left of RoeWe are being ripped to pieces right in front of our eyes. It is only a matter time before we see an absolute or near-total ban on abortion in the United States. This decision was made by a few unelected lifetime citizens who control the laws in the most wealthy country in history. The country was built on stolen land and slavery. We are terrified, angry, and devastated about the future of abortion in this country. But we must be prepared. We won’t stop having abortions, whether through pills or defending clinics. We will continue to have abortions. Our antidotes include solidarity, hope, and the knowledge that our actions are in the right place in history. It connects you to millions of feminists across the globe. It is a call for action.