If women are not free, then no one is free...

August 25, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In June 2013, Revolution interviewed Sunsara Taylor about the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride and asked a question about the campaign undergone by anti-abortion forces that accused abortion clinics of carrying out genocide against Black and Latino people. The following is an excerpt from this exchange:

Taylor: So, yeah, in the anti-abortion movement there has been a campaign over several decades, but really intensifying over the last couple of years, to equate abortion among Black people and Latinos as a form of self-genocide. There have been billboards put up all over the country that say, “The most dangerous place for a Black youth is in its mother’s womb.” They are seizing on the fact that Black and Latino women have higher rates of abortion than white women to accuse Black and Latino women of carrying out genocide against their babies. This is one of the most vicious and hateful campaigns.

First of all it’s a lie. A Black woman, a Latino woman, any woman who chooses to terminate a pregnancy is not killing a baby. That’s just a fact: fetuses are NOT babies. Fetuses of Black women are NOT Black babies. Fetuses of Latino women are not Latino babies. All those fetuses are subordinate parts of the woman’s body. And when a woman voluntarily undergoes an abortion, that is just her making a decision over her own reproduction and her life as a whole. Her right to do this is a positive thing. And the anti-abortion movement is against sex education and against birth control, so they don’t really get any right to fucking speak about this. Even more fundamentally, I don’t care how many abortions a woman gets or how often it goes on among any particular section of women, if women don’t have the right to determine for themselves when and whether they will have children, they are not free. And if women are not free, then no one is free—and this applies to oppressed peoples as well, if Black women are enslaved to their reproduction, if they are reduced to breeders and forced to have children against their wills, then there is no way that Black people as a whole can get free. So I reject the whole notion that there is something negative about women getting abortions—at whatever rate—when they feel they need them. If there are social conditions of life that compel a woman to terminate a pregnancy when she would have wanted to bring it to full term, those conditions and the source of them need to be fought, but that is very different than forcing them to reproduce! Women’s role is not to “make babies”—it is to “hold up half the sky” (as they used to say in revolutionary China) to join together with men to rise up against all the many forms of oppression and exploitation, to be just as involved in learning about and fighting to change the whole world, and to be treated with respect and equality by men in this whole process and in every realm.

Read the entire response to this question and the whole interview here.


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