On the Polish Government’s Attacks on Abortion Rights, the Rising Tide of Global Fascism, and the Need for a Radically Different Alternative

by a member of the National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us


On January 27, 2021, the fascist regime in Poland announced that it would begin enforcing a ruling, first announced in October, which bans the vast majority of abortions in the country, including making illegal the most common form of legal abortion, those due to fetal defects. This means that now, all forms of abortion are outlawed, with the only exceptions being in the event of rape, incest, or where the life or health of the mother is threatened. This has everything to do with slamming women back into more “traditional forms” of oppression and subservience, in response to and in revenge for the increased participation of women in the economy and social life, and as part of a larger theocratic-fascist agenda and global movement that is on the march, and advancing.

The initial announcement of this ruling last year sparked a wave of righteous protests, with hundreds of thousands of women, and many men as well, taking to the streets in largely nonviolent, but sustained and dramatic action. As a prior letter from a reader described scenes from October, protesters

carried signs like “People before embryos” and “I wish I could abort my government.” They poured out of workplaces in a nationwide work stoppage. Groups of women marched wearing the red robes of the Handmaid’s Tale symbolizing the future of women’s subjugation that this decision represents. Protesters defiantly challenged the oppressive weight of the Catholic church on their lives, disrupting Mass in Catholic churches and staging sit-ins at cathedrals with women holding coat hangers as the symbol of dangerous illegal abortions, which is the fate that many now face.

While outrage at the abortion restrictions was the main factor driving the protests, they also served as expressions of anger and disgust with the overall far-right, fascist program being rammed down the throats of the people in Poland. Young people and students have been a critical part of the protests, and express high levels of opposition to the ruling fascist “Law and Justice” Party.

The “Law and Justice” Party (PiS), currently led by Jarosław Kaczyński, was founded in 2001, and rose to power in 2015 with a program of religious fundamentalism and its corresponding “traditional values,” including virulent patriarchy and homophobia, with a heavy dose of xenophobia (hatred of foreigners) directed against migrants and refugees. Since then

the Law and Justice Party has moved systematically to take control of the courts, forcing out justices from the Supreme Court to remake it into a rubber stamp for the ruling party and taking full control of the Constitutional Tribunal—the court which has now passed the anti-abortion decree. Through seizing control of the courts, in the face of mass protest, they have been bludgeoning through attacks on the basic rights of the people.

The moves in Poland by PiS to reduce women to breeders legally and socially subordinate to men and the church is part of a wider, global movement for fascism, which has its momentum bound up with changes in the world situation going back several decades, including mass upheaval and dislocation of millions of people in different parts of the world due to globalization, and the intense, xenophobic backlash across Europe. Bob Avakian (BA) recently spoke to this world situation and its implications in his New Year’s Statement, A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity:

This dramatically changed and often highly volatile situation has also been a major factor in the rise of religious fundamentalism, in the Third World and notably in the U.S., where Christian fundamentalism is a powerful negative social and political force. Interconnected and interacting with these economic and related social changes in a way that has contributed to the increased influence of religious fundamentalism, particularly in the Third World, has been the defeat, or abandonment, of movements in the Third World led by communists or revolutionary nationalists against old-line colonialists and neo-colonial oppressors, above all the U.S., in the period after World War 2—with the greatest setback being the reversal of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in China in the 1970s, which transformed China from a powerful socialist country and a beacon and bastion of support for revolutionary struggle throughout the world, into a rising imperialist power and itself an exploiter of masses of people in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

In particular, he has said about the oppression of women:

It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms and through extremely violent means. The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement.

And he goes on to say:

This is true not only with regard to women, as important as that is, but for all those who are oppressed, degraded and brutalized under this system. It is true not just for the U.S., but throughout this highly interconnected but terribly unequal world, dominated as it is by this system of capitalism-imperialism.1

From the women of Poland fighting for the right to control their own bodies, and their very lives, in the streets, to the desperate throngs of migrants and refugees surging across the borders of Central America, through Mexico, and up towards the border with the U.S., to the hundreds of thousands now buried in mass graves the world over, the victims of a pandemic made so unnecessarily worse by the workings of a system which cannot provide adequate healthcare and vaccines to the world’s population—the present situation feels untenable, because it is.

In all parts of the world, the need for a radically different world—for an alternative grounded in science, for the emancipation of all humanity, cries out. Such an alternative exists, in the new communism forged by Bob Avakian, which provides the basis and the guide for a whole new wave of struggle to bring down the system of capitalism-imperialism that serves as a stranglehold on humanity’s potential. The new communism also involves a more scientific understanding of the material basis for the oppression of women, how this arose with the first class divisions among human beings, and how this oppression has been intertwined with every distinct set of exploitative production relations since then. What is needed is a revolution to establish a different set of production relations, genuinely socialist, and go to work on getting beyond all oppressive social relations. Avakian has also brought alive how even in a future socialist society, the unevenness and contradiction in the conditions and role of women, as we transform society, can and must be a crucial part of what drives forward the communist revolution, and ensures that it is an all-the-way revolution.

But in all parts of the world, these breakthroughs and their author, BA, a radically different leader than anyone else on the planet today, who himself concentrates the core principles and scientific method at the heart of this new communism, is too little known. This is a situation that must be transformed, and quickly.

The billions of people in the world today for whom life is a daily hell—the exploited and oppressed of humanity have a leader—someone who has dedicated his whole life to their emancipation—to solving the problems that stand in the way of that road. Isn’t it criminal that not more have come to know him? Isn’t it incumbent on all of us to help bridge this gap—to help bring BA to the masses, and bring forward wave upon wave of followers of BA as a conscious force for a new communist revolution to put an end to all oppression and exploitation, everywhere?



The fascist regime in Poland's announcement that it would begin enforcing a ruling which bans the vast majority of abortions in the country was met with righteous protest, January 27-29. (Photos: AP)


Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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