Written by Florence Oppen
Saturday, 26 July 2014 02:02
The Supreme Court says “yes” to the lynching of doctors who perform abortions and “no” to the pill.
Both new decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, which reduce the access to abortion and contraception, are not only a blow to the rights of women and the whole of the working class; they are part of a historical offensive since last decade against the democratic rights that women gained in the ’60s and ’70s after arduous struggles.
New restrictions on the access of the contraceptive pill
The latest decision of the U.S. Supreme Court , June 30, on the Hobby Lobby case, allows closely heldfor-profit corporationsto be exempted from a law based on their owners’ religious criteria, regarding the access to medical forms of contraception. The result is that more and more healthcare plans no longer cover the pill and two types of intrauterine devices, stating that these methods of contraception are akin to abortion (which has been debunked by doctors and scientists).
The pill today has many medical uses besides contraception (preventing ovarian cysts, endometriosis cure, regulation of the menstrual cycle, balancing of hormones, treating acne or preventing migraines). It is therefore not only an attack on the right to choose motherhood but also on the health of women.
A resounding yes to escracheand intimidation of doctors and women
In addition, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the anti-abortion militants from a ultra-conservative Christian group who objected the decision of the State of Massachusetts to create a “buffer zone” around abortion clinics to prevent harassment and intimidation of women who go to abortion, as well as the doctors and nurses engaged in the practice. The court argued that such protection zones were “unconstitutional” because preventing escrache and harassment mean to limit the right to expression of those who oppose abortion. The result is that the few cities with this device are disabling it, leaving clinics unprotected against attacks.
It’s worth recalling the level of violence against women and medical staff in the world’s leading imperialist power, where there are organizations that are posting publicly the names and home addresses of the medical staff who practice abortions, to induce violence. In the ‘90s eight murders of medical personnel working in these clinics by ultra-conservative groups were recorded.
The National Abortion Federation, which groups all clinics that provide access to the practice, estimates that since 1977 there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 serious death threats, 153 cases of assault, 41 bombings, 173 fires and 3 kidnappings of medical staff. And these statistics don’t estimate the violence, intimidation and stigmatization of women attending these clinics.
Vulture Funds and women rights
In times of economic crisis, capitalism shows its true face and the need to limit women’s rights.
To recover their profits, the most powerful world bourgeoisie have to extract gains at all costs, from where it’s possible. Therefore, every ideology and measure are useful to reinforce the oppression of a majority sector of the working class and over-exploit (with lower pay and poorer conditions) them. At the same time, simultaneously dividing the class as a whole. They should also further exploiting and plundering the countries under their ruling around the world.
Thus we see how the recent decision of the Supreme Court against the rights of women coincides with the ruling that forces Argentina to pay its foreign debt to vulture funds. It’s not enough for a global power like the U.S. to spoil countries like Argentina and others throughout Latin America for decades; its bourgeoisie need more to increase their profits, which are threatened by the economic crisis and, in addition, they also have to attack the workers from their own country, and the first to be attacked are the working women.
The only way out is a unified and independent struggle of the working class
While sectors “pro-life” are supported by the Republican Party, several Democratic representative and lawmakers have publicly spoken out against abortion and have even passed restrictions bills in the states under their control (West Virginia). The passivity of the Obama administration regarding the attacks against women and the fact that his party shelters in its ranks the enemies of women shows today, more than ever, the hypocrisy of the American democratic discourse.
Under this brutal offensive, the working women and the working-class organizations have no choice but to demonstrate in the streets against all restriction measures on abortion and contraception, independent from the two bourgeois parties, the Republicans and Democrats, and facing their national government.
Stop the war on women!
Free and safe abortion now!
For the right of women to choose when to give birth!
For a free public healthcare!
Article published in Avanzada Socialista n. 71, July 16, 2014
Hobby Lobby is a company owned by the Green family, conservative Christians who, based on their religious beliefs, successfully defended their refusal to pay for 4 contraceptives among twenty established by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
“Closely held” is a type of corporation, defined by the Internal Revenue Service. By its definition, approximately 90% of U.S. corporations are “closely held”, and approximately 52% of the U.S. workforce is employed by “closely held” corporations.