It is not “pro-life” to subject women to potentially dangerous circumstances and harmful, or even life-threatening consequences. Let’s make that clear. Removing legal abortion access doesn’t stop abortions from happening; it just makes them less safe. There is a metric ton of data on this. We know what happens; women are forced to seek unsafe abortions from unlicensed and unregulated sources.
Virtue-signaling Republicans are presenting the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade as a victory to their supporters, but like most “victories” within the bourgeois system, nothing has fundamentally changed. No one is “protecting life” or “stopping abortions”. They have simply assured that only those women who can afford to go to another state (excluding the vast majority of women, who are working class) have access to proper doctors and facilities.
And where are the Democrats on this issue? They wield considerable governmental power, and could make significant moves to protect safe access to abortion and the lives of women, but they don’t. They did not lift a finger to try to codify the Roe Vs. Wade decision, or even do a single thing in that direction. Instead, they let this happen, and many are now using it as an opportunity to rally support for re-election. In their exploitation of this issue, the Democrats expose themselves as a self-serving political party, ready to sell out our supposed civil “rights” in order to be in a position to “fight” for them.
This is no accident or coincidence. The government--which is dominated by a handful of ultra-rich interests--is trying to divide the working people of this country and turn them against each other. Their institutions, think tanks, and media cartel keep working people from demanding real, fundamental changes that could improve our lives.
It is time for a new approach and response to the abortion question; one that can unify people on both sides of this issue, creating a broad peoples movement centered on material demands. In this task, the Communist Party USA–the flagship political party representing the working class–must lead the charge, win the people’s support, and present an alternative to the ruling class and their two political parties. After all, the two-party system only serves itself, and the peoples’ necks are the stepping stones on which the Democrats and Republicans build their power.
Women seek abortions primarily for economic reasons, e.g., because they do not have the resources to meet the demands of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. A real “pro-life” movement would advocate for safe access to abortions so that the lives and futures of women and girls are protected. A real “pro-life” movement--one that seeks to lessen or end abortion--would advocate for policies that meet the needs of impoverished women and children. And a “pro-choice” movement that really cares about women would address women’s needs beyond the issue of abortion.
It is time to develop a program that acknowledges the urgent needs of working-class women and their families, and is capable of uniting all working people. Such a program would demand, but is not limited to, the following:
Whereas the age-old “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice” framework surrounding the ‘abortion debate’ leads to nothing but endless bickering over morals and ideals to the benefit of the ruling class, the above program provides a new, unifying approach that could create real change. All of these measures would undoubtedly improve the lives of working-class people in this country, and thus are demands any conscious, self-interested worker can get behind. Only by uniting as a class and building a society that respects and values women, mothers, and children through addressing their unique material needs and concerns, can we drastically reduce the need for abortions.
Therefore, it is time for the Communist Party, in all its work, to begin to popularize these demands. In the mass organizations, which most often are aimed at working within the existing electoral confines, the Party should put forward these demands, coupled with the following question for politicians: “will you use your position and influence to demand that Joe Biden issue an executive order providing nation-wide abortion access?”
Our platform demanding real change for women will contrast greatly with the lack thereof put forward by the Democrats, and our pointed question will expose their opportunism. It will also expose the Republicans, who claim to be “pro-life”, but do not address the material roots of abortion, or life after birth, generally. Thus, the Party will distinguish itself as the vanguard fighter for the interests of the proletariat.
The Party should then focus upon putting forward its own candidates, while also building coalitions with individuals and organizations who support its demands. It should go door-to-door, canvassing in communities all over the country, building support for its candidates, and these demands, which would improve life for all working women and families. It should talk to the people about their needs and concerns, and work to address those. In doing so, the Party can begin to redirect the electoral energy that thus far has been in favor of the Democrats.
This is a historic moment. The crisis extends far beyond “reproductive rights,” and affects the lives of every American. The masses are agitated and coming into motion. Comrades cannot forget now, or ever, that the immediate aim of the Communist Party is the “conquest of political power by the proletariat.”
It’s time for the Party to declare to the masses: “The Communist Party is back, and it fights for you!”
Richard St. James is an American patriot, oil worker, and member of the Communist Party USA. He is most interested in bridging the gap between Christianity and the Communist movement, and the reconnection of the Communist movement with the American revolutionary tradition.