By International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU.FI)
27 September 2021
Almost two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system grows and attacks the health, nature, work and life of the world’s population. But it also shows the resistance of the working class and the feminist and dissident movement that continues to fight and win victories. Indeed, the global women’s rebellion and the green tide are far from stopping. Not only did they underpin the healthcare protests around the world demanding the recognition of labour rights by being the front line against COVID-19 for the feminisation of healthcare systems, but they have led the campaign for the expropriation of the capitalist vaccine business and its distribution to the entire world population. And amid the worst socio-health crisis of the last decades, it could not take to the streets to demand the right to legal abortion.
The outstanding achievement of the legalisation of abortion in December 2020 in Argentina was followed by the important advance in the recent decriminalisation of abortion by the Supreme Court in Mexico. And this is despite the commitments to the churches that Presidents Fernandez and Lopez Obrador in both countries sought to honour by preventing the progress of the right to decide. But we also know that the struggle to defend these victories and achieve our right to decide must continue. In both countries, anti-choice groups and the Church have reacted with manoeuvres, such as conscientious objection or death threats against women who dare to have an abortion. In the Dominican Republic, despite the important feminist mobilisation at the beginning of 2021 with great social support, the government, the Churches and their allies in Congress have advanced in their project to maintain the absolute criminalisation of abortion in the Penal Code; while in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government harshly attacked the health and life of women and dissidents by withdrawing the country from the Istanbul agreement, linked to the setback of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Poland that prohibited the ground for legal abortions in the country. Besides, in the United States, the campaign is advancing in different states to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that has allowed legal abortion in the country since 1973. In El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele reaffirms his anti-rights position, stating that he will not introduce constitutional reforms to decriminalise abortion, whatever its cause, nor equal marriage or euthanasia. In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s advance threatens the rights of women and dissidents. There are still many obstacles for those who decide to exercise this right because of privatisation and cuts in public health, conscientious objection, and the growth of reactionary discourses, as in Spain with VOX that question the existence of gender violence, in countries where legal abortion has been legal for years.
Chilean and Colombian people have risen against the reactionary governments of Piñera and Uribe. The strength of the green tide is still alive all over the world. We call on the working class of the world to continue organising for the right to health and life of women and LGTBIQ+ people who have been harshly punished in the pandemic.
This 28 September, international day of struggle for the decriminalisation and legalisation of abortion and international day of action for women’s health, we say not one more prisoner, not one more death, not one more mutilated for having an abortion. No more privatisation of health systems. Let us defend and recover a universal public health system that guarantees our sexual and reproductive rights.
We call on workers, peasants, feminists, activists and students to continue mobilising this day to make a great day of struggle for the health of women and dissidents. Let the pandemic not be an excuse to trample on us. We repudiate how capitalist governments, including false progressivism, attack our rights. Let’s go for an international organisation of women workers, independent of the capitalist governments, to keep on fighting until we get what is rightfully ours. Our rights are essential.
– No more criminalisation of women’s struggles. Not one more death and not one more prisoner for having an abortion.
– Sex education to decide, contraceptives not to abort and legal abortion not to die. Safe and free legal abortion now.
– Effective separation of religious institutions from the state.
– Immediate increase in health and education budgets based on the non-payment of foreign debts and taxes on wealthy people. For a unique public, universal and feminist health care system.