In response to the truly scurrilous, dishonest and highly destructive and divisive attacks that have been hurled against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling against Roe, we are appending a statement we issued several days ago. Additionally, we want to assert in no uncertain terms that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights has never used any funds it has raised for any purposes other than exactly what the funds were raised for. Our lawyer has sent a letter to those who have accused us of financial wrongdoing instructing them to cease and desist in spreading these blatantly untrue, baseless, extremely dangerous allegations.
At a moment when masses of people are rising up – at last – to fight against the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, an assorted group of organizations who have done absolutely nothing to mobilize people to fight this decision when it was impending over the past 6 months, have issued a statement packed with outright lies, slanders, and out-of-context quotes against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, the one organization that has led and continues to lead the fight against this unprecedented, illegitimate, and egregious decision. Pull back the lens and see this attack on Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights for what it is and where it comes from. This attack is a confession and exposure of these organizations capitulation to the very reactionary forces that have now prevailed in overturning nationwide abortion rights. When facing a powerful enemy that you perceive to be invincible, it becomes so much easier to slander and attack those who are not only standing up but challenging all others to join in doing the same.
On the very day that women in multiple states will now be faced with the terrifying life threatening consequences of abortion bans—these groups choose to attack the only group that has been calling for sustained nonviolent struggle and protest to stop this since January! Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights has consistently, since its formation, called for the broadest possible united action, in the streets, against what was then the looming Supreme Court decision ripping away abortion rights. Read the actual founding statement of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and see whether it comports with what its accusers claim. The sad fact is that the great bulk of the “reproductive rights movement” chose to downplay the severity of the attack. They simultaneously counseled people to prepare for a “post-Roe” America rather than throw everything into preventing the decision. Many of these organizations attacked Rise Up for saying that this assault on abortion was overwhelmingly focused on women, even as Rise Up also spoke out against the way this assault would be used against the rights of LGBTQ people (as can already be seen in Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion yesterday) and consistently pointed to the disproportionate effect the overturning of Roe would have on Black and Latina women, and other women of color.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights’s actions over the past months and on the day of the decision are documented in the media around the world. The record is clear.
To the extent there is any principle involved beyond slander and scare, the scurrilous and false attacks on Sunsara Taylor, Bob Avakian, and the RCP are spoken to on the website revcom.us . Moreover, at a time when fascists in this country are not only making but carrying out all kinds of threats of violence against people who are resisting them, these attacks endanger these leaders, and should remind decent people of the kind of attacks and distancing that cost lives in the 1960’s.
We urge people to focus their efforts on struggling to reverse this attack on the fundamental right to abortion and not squander precious time and unity fomenting unprincipled attacks on groups and individuals that have been fighting for abortion rights and providing abortion care for years.
Signed by the following co-initiators of RiseUp4AbortionRights.org:
Merle Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center
Lori Sokol, Executive Director of Women’s eNews
Sunsara Taylor, co-host of the RNL – Revolution, Nothing Less! – Show