As we do every 28 September, on the international day for the right to abortion, women and dissidents demand in the streets our right to decide about our own bodies. This is a right that we have won through mobilisation in most countries of the world, but which, faced with the economic and social crisis, is threatened by capitalist governments, churches and the most conservative and reactionary sectors of society.
With the decision of the US Supreme Court that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that allowed the right to abortion throughout the United States, the criminalisation of the practice in most of US states has advanced. With this ruling, which Trump celebrates and Biden uses electorally, those who are most affected are migrants and the poor who will suffer the consequences of clandestine and unsafe abortions.
This is a dangerous precedent that is being used by reactionary sectors in other countries to advance similar measures. In Hungary, for example, the neo-conservative government signed a decree making it compulsory to listen to the vital signs of the foetus before abortions. The law is reminiscent of the Texas (USA) law passed in 2021, which makes it compulsory to watch an ultrasound scan and listen to the foetus’ heartbeat before having an abortion in one of the American states that pioneered a total ban on abortion.
Elsewhere, the mobilisation aims to achieve advances in our sexual and reproductive rights and in the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. In the Spanish state – where abortion, despite being legal, is still hindered in certain territories – a reform of the current abortion law is currently in parliamentary procedure that would advance fundamental aspects such as guaranteeing this right to minors aged 16 and 17. The bill also includes sick leave for painful rules and for abortions, as well as the need for a plan to guarantee this right in public health centres, among other issues. An open fight faces the most conservative and reactionary sectors of the Popular Party and VOX, which have already made themselves felt. So, as always, it will be the mobilisation in the streets that will define this struggle.
With the strength of the green tide, we are fighting for the legalisation of abortion in Latin America and in the world. There are still countries where women and other identities with the possibility of gestation persist in the struggle for decriminalization, budget for women and dissidence based on the non-payment of foreign debts. Stop criminalising our rights. Freedom for those imprisoned for having abortions. Stop denying health care to women. Not another death by clandestine abortion.
For a larger budget in education, to provide comprehensive sex education without sexist stereotypes, with a feminist approach. We need to promote autonomy over our bodies and the freedom to decide on our sexuality.
The right to decide must also be guaranteed for those who hoose to be mothers. Governments must guarantee the economic conditions for free and healthy maternity, and we demand that domestic and care work be socially recognised and assumed by governments, in order to free women from double or triple work load. Through care centres, laundries and public canteens. That labour rights are not respected by all women workers, with decent wages and social security.
From the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI) we call for an international feminist mobilisation to fight for our most basic democratic rights, such as the right to decide about our own bodies. Let us follow the example of the Iranian women, who are mobilising in repudiation of the murder of Mahsa Amini, arrested and tortured for wearing the hijab incorrectly and, as a sign of protest, are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs. In all countries of the world, let us fight on the streets as working women and dissidents to achieve our demands independently of governments and international agencies, on the way to achieving a working class government capable of building a socialist society, without oppression and exploitation. That is why we are organising: for patriarchy, racism and capitalism to fall together.
Legal, safe and free abortion in all countries!
Effective separation of Churches and State!
Higher budgets for health and education, not for the payment of foreign debts!
Sex education to decide, contraceptives not to abort and legal abortion all over the world not to die!
International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)
26 September 2022