Now is the time for everyone who believes that women and girls are full human beings – not incubators – to act to prevent a great horror.
The Supreme Court stands poised to gut and very possibly overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established the right of women to abortion. A decision is expected by late spring.
This comes on top of hundreds of restrictions that effectively deny this essential right to huge numbers of women already. This could trigger more than 20 states to immediately ban or severely restrict abortion.
The attack on abortion rights is part of a patriarchal Christian fascist program that takes aim at contraception as well as LGBTQ rights. Denying the right to abortion hits poor women, and especially Black and other women of color, with vicious consequence – tightening the chains of both white supremacy and the subjugation of women.
Denying the right to abortion forces women to bear children against their will. This does grotesque physical, emotional, societal, and psychic violence to women by reducing them to baby-making machines! Compelling women to carry unwanted and/or dangerous pregnancies hijacks their bodies, their safety, their lives, their sexual autonomy, their aspirations and accomplishments, and their life-long relations in the service of patriarchal domination.
Forced motherhood is female enslavement. When women are not free, no one is free.
Yet all too many pro-choice leaders and Democratic Party politicians preach a “realism” of accepting the Court’s gutting of abortion rights. They tell us to dig in for the “long-haul” of the electoral process or to focus on helping women induce their own abortions. Whatever their intent, this amounts to capitulating in advance to the enslavement of women and an overall nightmare for humanity.
The violent subjugation of half of society must not be accommodated, excused, downplayed, or surrendered to. IT MUST BE STOPPED!
If we leave this to Congress, the Courts, and State Legislatures and do not fill the streets with people determined to stop this, then there is virtually no hope for stopping this assault. But if we, in our multitudes, stand up in uncompromising defiance then there is a possibility—not a certainty, but a real possibility—that we could beat back this assault and begin to change the whole political dynamic in this country.
Our only way forward and our best way forward is to resist. To step outside the confines of “official” politics and fill the streets with our fury. Growing in numbers, in cities and small towns, uniting all who can be united and coming back stronger in continuing, sustained, nonviolent mass protest. Shaking all of society from the streets to the arts and sciences with our determination. Drawing inspiration from the mighty outpourings of women and others around the world against patriarchal degradation. Changing the whole political atmosphere throughout society and what women-haters – from the Supreme Court to the State Houses to the streets – feel they can get away with. Rising up with courage and conviction to defeat this assault while bringing closer a future where women and all people are free.
On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we began. In the face of triumphalist patriarchal Marches for “Life,” we announced to the world that a force is gathering to defeat this through massive, relentless, nonviolent action of people of all genders.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, we came back with creativity and growing numbers in small towns and the big cities, filling the streets with serious determination and rebellious joy. We punctured the stifling atmosphere of capitulation to a great injustice and compelled all to take notice, inspiring more people to join us. We started organizing.
From there, we are rallying more people and fury and moral clarity… aiming to bring society to a halt and force our demand – that women not be slammed backwards – to be reckoned with and acted upon by every institution in society.
Sign this statement. Spread it everywhere. Donate generously. Use this statement to organize growing networks across this country of people from different backgrounds and genders, creeds and political outlooks, united in our unwavering refusal to see women enslaved.
If you care about the half of humanity that is born female… if you remember the dark days of back-alley deaths and foreclosed lives… if you are among the 1 in 4 women whose hopes and dreams — or even survival — has hinged on access to abortion… if you refuse to inherit, or pass on, a world that is hurtling backwards…
NOW is the time to hold nothing back. NOW is the time to rouse thousands and soon millions in struggle so that we can look every woman and girl in the eye with the promise in word and deed that they will have a future as full human beings. NOW is the time to stand up, together, as if our lives depend upon it—for, in fact, they do.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Reading of Call by Chantelle
Initial signers include:
Sunsara Taylor, co-host of Revolution Nothing Less Show, host/producer of We Only Want the World (WBAI & WPFW), co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org, leader of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride
Ruchira Gupta, Emmy award winning journalist and filmmaker
Merle Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, author of Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room
Lori Sokol, Executive Director of Women’s eNews, author of She Is Me: How Women Will Save The World
Sam Goldman, Editorial Board member of RefuseFascism.org, host of the Refuse Fascism podcast
Rosanna Arquette, activist, actor, director, podcast host of “Radical Musings”
Susan Brownmiller, feminist author and activist
Sandra Cisneros, author
Joan Ditzion, Co-Founder of “Our Bodies Ourselves,” co-author of all editions, MSW
Chris Dos, ANTI-FLAG bass player. WHITE WIVES guitar player
Chelsea Ebin, Assistant Professor of Politics at Centre College, co-founder/fellow Institute for Research on Male Supremacism and fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right
Nancy S. Erickson, Esq., author and advocate for survivors of domestic abuse, former law professor
Melissa Febos, author and Associate Professor at The University of Iowa
Frances Fisher, actress, activist
Amy Gentry, novelist
Carol Giardina, author of Freedom for Women: Forging the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1953-1970
Lalah Hathaway, Grammy Award-winning singer
Abeer Y. Hoque, writer and photographer
Morgan Hurd, gymnast; five-time world medalist and 2017 world all-around champion
Sikivu Hutchinson, author, playwright
Robert Jones, Jr., author, The Prophets, Finalist for National Book Award
Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor and author
Christine Lahti, actress, filmmaker
Fran Luck, founder and Executive Producer of Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio, WBAI, New York
Kathy Najimy, actress, comedian, women’s rights activist
Katha Pollitt, writer, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights
Kathy Scarbrough, co-editor Meeting Ground Online
Chaitali Sen, novelist
Nahid Shahalimi, Afghanistan author and founder/chairwoman of the Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Afghanistan
Heidi Sieck, Chief Empowerment Officer, #VOTEPROCHOICE
Mary-Helen Specht, novelist
Linda Stein, artist
Gloria Steinem, author and feminist activist
Katea Stitt, Program Director, WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC
Paul Street, author
V (formerly Eve Ensler), playwright, author, activist, performer
Amee Vanderpool, Lawyer, writer, feminist
Lilly Wachowski, film director, writer, producer
Alice Walker, author
Cornel West, author, activist, scholar
Barbara Winslow, historian, Associate Professor, School of Education at Brooklyn College
Alex Winter, filmmaker and actor
Rafia Zakaria, author of Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption
David Zeiger, film director, writer and producer
Call: 973 544-8228
printable copy of statement here