Statement from Sunsara Taylor on November 20, 2013

By Sunsara Taylor | November 21, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Congratulations are in order for all who raised their voices, donated money, and went into the streets to defeat the outrageous proposed 20-week ban on abortions in Albuquerque yesterday! This is a win not only for the women of Albuquerque, or even just for the women of New Mexico. Your work has won a victory for women, and the men and others who value women's freedom, all over the country as two out of only four doctors in the country who provide late-term abortions practice in Albuquerque.

On the same day, however, the Supreme Court allowed to stand a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans which forced as many as 15 clinics to close altogether or to stop providing abortions to women who need them throughout Texas while the legal challenges to a completely bogus law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals works its way through the courts.

Despite the claim of the Supreme Court majority opinion, this was not a ruling simply on whether to respect the judgment of a lower court as to whether or not to implement a law while it was being appealed. First, the law is outrageous and illegitimate and never should have been allowed in the first place as it serves absolutely no medical purpose and only exists to deprive women of their fundamental right to abortion. Second, allowing the law to be implemented even as it is working its way through the courts will do irreparable harm to tens of thousands of women throughout Texas, many of whom will not be able to access the abortions they need safely and will either risk their health and lives or be forced to have children against their will. Third, this ruling will do irreparable harm to many of the clinics which have been shut down; many will end up closing due to inability to pay rent and staff during the months when they are deprived of income from operating. Thus, even if the law is overturned these clinics will be permanently closed or put in financial ruin.

The claim by the Supreme Court majority that this was just a procedural ruling changes nothing about how vicious an attack this is on women! The fact is, like the hospital admitting privileges law itself, the most dangerous and common attacks on abortion rights these days are hammered into place under the cover of “procedural” changes. Other examples are the clinics which have been forced to undergo tremendously costly renovations or to close to comply with unnecessary new health codes or laws which interfere with doctors ability to administer medication abortions in line with the most up-to-date medical consensus. The Supreme Court ruling today is yet another vicious attack on women's rights, masked as a “procedural” ruling. Only this one is from the highest court in the land!

What do these two contradictory developments (the victory in Albuquerque and the outrageous and vindictive ruling from the Supreme Court) reveal?

Most fundamentally, they reveal that this system—its courts, its law enforcement, and its politicians—cannot be relied on to protect the rights of women and other oppressed people. They reveal the deep rooted patriarchy that is woven into the foundation of this system and they reveal the relentlessness of the current drive to push women back to the days of being openly treated as property of men and breeders of children.

This is true not only of the Supreme Court ruling, but also of the development in Albuquerque. Some might find that confusing to hear, since the Albuquerque 20-week abortion ban was defeated. But, while the victory in Albuquerque reveals the tremendous and widespread support for women's reproductive freedom, the very fact that women's right to decide for themselves when and whether to become a mother was put up for a vote is completely illegitimate and totally outrageous. It is as outrageous as it was for the state of California to vote to deny the right of LGBT people to marry during “Prop 8” and it is as outrageous as it would be for a city or state today to vote to reimplement racial segregation.

All this, together with the ongoing daily, hourly violence against women (1 in 3 women will be beaten, raped, or sexually assaulted during her lifetime) as well as the other towering crimes of this system (the slow genocide of 2.3 million people incarcerated, the devastation of the environment that threatens to end life on this planet, the massive repression, spying, torture, drones, and other imperialist aggression, and the putrid, me-first culture of consumerism and conquest), most of all reveals the urgent need for Revolution and Nothing Less!

It is not tolerable, nor is it necessary, to continue to live this way—watching as every ounce of social justice that was wrenched from this system during the 1960s is vindictively snatched back, watching as women, Black people, immigrants, the poor around the world, and the planet itself are slammed backwards. The only reason this continues is because of the system of capitalism-imperialism that rules over us. All of this can and will be changed through genuine communist revolution. Bob Avakian has re-envisioned this revolution, through many decades of tireless and deeply scientific work. Here is the Constitution for the NewSocialistRepublic in North America (Draft Proposal) which lays out concretely the kind of truly liberatory society which is realizable through this revolution. As just one measure of what that society will be like: this society will not only guarantee women's right to abortion, but it takes as a central and driving mission of the society as a whole to fully uproot all vestiges of the oppression of women, of LGBT people, of Black people, Latinos and other oppressed groupings. It does this as part of advancing to a global community of genuinely freely associating human beings without social antagonisms of any kind. There is no excuse for anyone who cares about the future of women, and of humanity as a whole, not to dig eagerly and deeply into his work, not to spread his work, and not to join in the struggle to make a whole new, liberated world real.

Further, what these two contradictory developments in the fight for abortion rights (the negative Supreme Court ruling and the Albuquerque victory) show is that there is a basis, and a tremendous need, to mobilize the enormous reservoir of tens of millions of people across this country who do not want to see women enslaved to forced motherhood, and the many more who can be won to that position, to stand up and resist and to do so now! This is necessary if we are to hasten the development of a situation where a real revolution can be made and transform people very broadly in their thinking and morality in line with the world that we want. And, even if you are not yet convinced of the need for revolution and even if you are coming at this from a different perspective, this is necessary to beat back and defeat this grotesque and unrelenting war on women.

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.