Major New Attack on Planned Parenthood and Women’s Right to Abortion

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


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.

Bob Avakian published this statement a year before the Trump/Pence regime was elected, and the truth of it is borne out on a daily basis.

Women are full human beings

The Trump/Pence regime wants to block all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. A large and dangerous step toward that goal was taken this week with the Senate vote to undo a rule that prevented states from blocking funding for family clinics that also provide abortions. What this actually means is not the blocking of some general funding the government provides to Planned Parenthood, but blocking the reimbursement of costs for medical services by Medicaid and Title X funds. That is, it would prevent Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed for services provided to patients in the way any insurance company would reimburse a health care provider. The regime also floated a so-called compromise that if Planned Parenthood would stop providing abortion services, the funds would not be blocked, the clear message being that the defunding is directly related to providing abortion.

You probably know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions for women, and you likely know that existing laws already prevent government funding from being used to pay for that service.

Some things you may NOT know are:

  • Planned Parenthood provided over 320,000 abortions—which are indispensable to the lives of women—in 2014. This was 3 percent of their budget. The other 97 percent goes to family planning and other health needs, including cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Planned Parenthood affiliates operate 661 health centers across the country, seeing a total of 2.5 million patients annually (2015 figures).
  • These clinics particularly serve low-income women and families, with 75 percent of their patients at or below 150 percent of the poverty level and 60 percent relying on public health programs like Medicaid and Title X for their preventive and primary care.

How this could turn out:

Texas is a base area of the extreme-right wing, Christian fascist forces and became Ground Zero in the war on women about six years ago. In 2011, the state slashed its reproductive health budget by two-thirds and blocked all Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving state funds to provide health care. Many clinics closed, and—at least partly due to this, though there were other factors as well—the number of women who died due to pregnancy related causes doubled from 2011-2014 over the period of 2007-2010.

Patriarchy, the nuclear family, and the oppression of women have been woven into the foundation of American capitalism and society from their beginning. And the Trump/Pence regime today not just continues but is taking to new extreme levels the fight to keep women “in their place” and maintain this kind of patriarchal order.

What kind of system relegates women and families, especially the poorest, to fend for themselves by cutting off the last rungs of available health care?

What kind of system forecloses women’s lives by outlawing abortion and birth control, relentlessly slamming women further and further into the dark ages?

And more...what kind of system would install as its commander in chief someone who unapologetically models rape culture, revenge, degradation, and violence against women, who brags about his sexual assaults on women? And has a second in command who hails from the most extreme wing of the Christian fascists that could accurately be called the American Taliban? A regime that reduces women to objects to be owned, used, and controlled by men.

And there is more...because all this rests on global networks of plunder and exploitation.

The attacks on Planned Parenthood must be opposed, and more than that the whole regime that is bringing them on, and so much more, must be driven out. This is a regime that is representing for a system that should not be preserved—and that can be done away with, through an actual revolution.


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