Fighting for the Liberation of Women
Break All The Chains!

Updated January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Transcript of Talk by Sunsara Taylor:

Confronting the Abortion Rights Emergency—Fighting for Complete Liberation

On December 15, a program at Revolution Books in Harlem, New York City—The Abortion Rights Emergency—STOP the War on Women!—featured a panel with Merle Hoffman (CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, which began doing abortions in 1971, and author of Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room); Sunsara Taylor (writer for Revolution/ and initiator of; and Sikivu Hutchinson (feminist atheist activist and author of Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels and Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars). Here is the video of Sunsara Taylor’s remarks.

Below is the transcript of Sunsara Taylor’s remarks.

Last Wednesday [December 9], a woman from Tennessee, Anna Yocca, was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder. This, after she was rushed to the hospital, bleeding profusely, her life in danger. The state alleges that she had attempted to use a coat hanger to self-abort her pregnancy. According to the news, Yocca was 24 weeks pregnant and her alleged self-abortion did not work. The fetus was still alive. But when she got to the hospital, instead of recognizing the fundamental right of every woman to decide for herself when and whether to have a child and assisting her in an abortion, which should have been available to her safely in the first place, the hospital removed the fetus and put it on life support—forcing her to become a mother against her will. Then, instead of prioritizing the safety and privacy of this patient, the hospital turned her over to the criminal justice system.

Finally, instead of recognizing that the severe restrictions and shame heaped on abortion in Tennessee and around this country have created a situation where women are once again resorting to the coat hanger—a method that claimed the lives of thousands of women before abortion was made legal (and rightly, and in large part due to the clarity and moral courage of Merle Hoffman, the coat hanger has become a symbol, an infamous symbol, of those horrendous days when abortion was illegal)—instead of looking at this situation and seeing that the crime was attempted murder by the state of Anna Yocca for putting her in this situation, the state instead charged her with murder!

As we speak, she sits in jail, and this is a precedent, a legal precedent, that can be used against many, many women.

Now we could spend hours detailing the cases of other women like this, and you’ve heard of some others, both in this country and around the world. And we could spend hours more detailing the violence and terror against abortion providers—including the murders at Planned Parenthood recently in Colorado. We could talk about—and Sikivu mentioned this and I’ll touch on it briefly right now—the poisonous campaign targeting Black women in particular, comparing them, if they get abortions, to the lynch mobs that murdered Black people—a campaign that at the same time vilifies Black women, belittles lynching, further demonizes abortion for all women, and views Black women the same way the slave masters did, by the way, as nothing more than breeding machines. We could talk about the particular challenges to immigrant women—especially those without papers, to young women, or we could examine the way even the most privileged women are oppressed when abortion is criminalized...

But instead, I refer you to the many things I and others have written about this at, to the many books, including those by the two speakers tonight, available here at Revolution Books, and urge you to learn more.

I want to address a question that is beneath the core of all of this—the question of WHY? Why are these laws being passed? Why do politicians knowingly use this hateful rhetoric that whips up terrorists? Why do they spread lies? Why do they do things like oppose birth control and sex education that would actually reduce the rate of abortion? Why do people who claim to be about “life” go on killing sprees? WHY?

I think the most important thing to understand in all this is something recently said by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He wrote: “Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.”

Years ago, in his book Preaching from a Pulpit of Bones, Bob Avakian wrote further about this (and I witnessed this directly myself for the first time 20 years ago in North Dakota and many times since): anti-abortion fanatics praying, “Lord, please break this curse of independence that has afflicted women.” This fight has never been about “babies.” Fetuses are NOT babies. This fight is about controlling and enslaving women. ...  Read entire talk

A Call to RevComs and ALL Who Care About Women's Liberation – Get Out this Quote From BA!

by Sunsara Taylor

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In the wake of the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and the all-out assault on abortion rights, WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Sunsara Taylor, Merle Hoffman, and Sikivu Hutchinson discuss
The Abortion Rights Emergency—
STOP the War On Women!

December 15, 2015, Revolution Books, NYC

WBAI Special Programming Aired 12/29/15:


Host & Producer: 
Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper and initiator of

Including the voices of:
» Merle Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, abortion provider, author and activist for over 40 years
» David Cohen, author of the book “Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism”
» Activists from and Revolution Clubs around the country

Listen here (program begins at 01:30)

April 2014, San Francisco, standing up for the right to abortion. Photo: Special to

The Revolution Club in Tennessee for Anna Yocca Arraignment

The Revolution Club, Stop Patriarchy, revolutionaries, and activists came to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to #StandWithAnnaYocca during her arraignment on December 22, 2015 (she is still in jail with a $200,000 bail).  We were 14 strong from NYC, Atlanta, and Tennessee.  We brought a simple message "When a Woman Attempts a Coat-Hanger Abortion...It is the Patriarchal SYSTEM That Is Guilty of Attempted Murder—Against Her!"  The Revolution Club came to let everyone know of the leadership we have in Bob Avakian AND of the REVOLUTION we need.  We brought BA's NEW quote (card) from "ON 'PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES,' AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY", "Break ALL the Chains!" Samplers, and Revolution newspaper. 

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The Revolution Club, Stop Patriarchy, revolutionaries, and activists came to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to #StandWithAnnaYocca during her arraignment on December 22, 2015
At the arraignment of Anna Yocca, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December 22, 2015.

Interview with Law Professor David Cohen

Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism

In December 2015, Sunsara Taylor interviewed David Cohen about the book he co-authored, Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism (Oxford University Press, 2015). Cohen is a law professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and gender and the law. Read the interview

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