All Out October 2!
By Ann Montague
In an interesting interview with the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) near the end of her life, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked what can be done about the large number of states restricting abortion rights. She responded, “We need a movement like the one that existed when abortion was illegal.” That movement included 50,000 women marching down Fifth Avenue in the August 26th 1970 Women’s Strike For Equality. There were mass mobilizations around the country in the streets chanting “Free Abortion On Demand” broadcasting everywhere that women are not free without the right to abortion. This was a grass roots movement demanding equality and an end to the oppression of women.
This is why a conservative all male US Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973.
As attacks on abortion have escalated over the past decades, the use of independent mass action was replaced by useless electoral strategies. Women were told they needed to spend their time and energy in corralling votes for Democrats who would protect their right to abortion. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In over 40 years the Democrats have done nothing! They never codified the Roe v. Wade decision into federal law. And for over forty years they have continued to reauthorize the Hyde Amendment which bars use of federal funds to pay for abortion. This means Medicaid recipients, who are women already struggling financially, cannot choose abortion. In 2010 President Obama signed an executive order that expanded the Hyde Amendment to add it to the Affordable Care Act.
Now, once again, women are preparing to hit the streets to demand their reproductive rights. The Women’s March, a vehicle of the Democratic Party, has called for a nation-wide mobilization on October 2 and it will likely be massive as women are angry. This is the same organization that during Trump’s inauguration organized four million women to protest the new president’s blatant sexism and misogyny. But the essentially corporate-appointed Women’s March leaders have done nothing since but divert women’s anger into safe electoral channels and phony legislative strategies.
Today they are working with 90 women’s rights organizations, including NOW and Planned Parenthood, to turn out women in cities and towns throughout the U.S., undoubtedly with speakers’ platforms replete with the posturing do-nothing Democrats that have been complicit in the decades long erosion of abortion rights. .
There are some women who are not waiting until October to vent their anger. They are formulating their own demands.
An initial Sept. 12 protest of 200 activists in New York City was organized by NYC for Abortion Rights and several other groups on the left. They called for tens of thousands of New Yorkers to hit the streets on October 2 demanding Free, Safe, Legal Abortion On Demand. That demand should reverberate across the country. For an independent, fighting, mass action, united movement for women’s rights! All Out October 2!