National Radical Women
625 Larkin St. # 202, San Francisco, CA 94109 • RadicalWomenus@gmail.com • www.radicalwomen.org
January 21, 2010
Happy anniversary of Roe v. Wade! January 22 marks 37 years since the historic federal Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the U.S. It was a landmark in the fight for women's rights, but the battle for full equality continues.
Neo-conservatives advocate a not-so-hidden agenda to drive women back into their "place" as bearers of children on the say-so of the church and state. Under a veil of piety, the far right has built a track record of harassment, mayhem, and murder, including this summer's assassination Dr. George Tiller. Tiller was a hero who defied years of persecution and violent attacks to provide late-term abortions. The ultra-right also attempts to trample on reproductive rights legislatively, including in the fight for federal healthcare reform.
Abortion quickly became a hot topic in the national healthcare debate. President Obama tried to buy favor with right-wingers by abandoning full reproductive services and coverage for immigrants. His early compromises laid the political groundwork for the anti-abortion Stupak (House) and Nelson (Senate) amendments.
Many feminist groups mobilized to oppose both amendments. But some held back because of their support for the Democratic Party, saying that something, anything, needed to pass so that the White House would be victorious. But it is no triumph to broker a law that stops insurance plans from covering abortion, fines poor people who can't afford health insurance, leaves out many immigrants, offers a public option that is not an option for most of the public, and allows insurance companies to charge seniors 300% more than others. (Click here to read more reasons to kill the federal healthcare bill). The House and Senate bills guarantee insurance company profits rather than the well-being of people. It's time to stop relying on Democratic or Republican politicians and fight for the things we actually want!
In addition to quality healthcare, we need fully funded education and human services. When programs are cut, women take up the responsibility of caring for the sick, the elderly and the young, once more being relegated to unpaid work in the home. Instead of balancing the economic crisis on the backs of the "second sex" and the poor, the government must tax the income of the ultra-rich and the profits of large corporations to fully fund social services.
We can win our demands if we join together and revive the tactics that worked for feminist movement pioneers who reached out and connected abortion rights to other crucial struggles of working-class women: for decent pay, affirmative action, affordable housing, childcare, education. They spoke far and wide, held sit-ins at state legislatures, chased the press, demonstrated, and did whatever else would move all their issues to the front pages.
Over the last several months Radical Women mobilized in support of immigrants, queers, and strikers, and against spending trillions on bank bailouts and war. RW members launched a grassroots campaign to save the Washington State Basic Health Plan. They helped form the coalition that spearheaded statewide University of California student and faculty walkouts to protest layoffs and tuition hikes. RW organized Roe v. Wade demonstrations in many cities and defended clinics against harassment by anti-abortion zealots.
If you are interested in collaborating and organizing together, contact Radical Women at RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com or 206-722-6057 or visit www.RadicalWomen.org. Your donations are also needed and very welcome! You can contribute online via PayPal or mail a check to National Radical Women at 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle WA 98118.
Together, we can build a united front capable of stopping the ultra-right and we can create a genuinely better future!
Anne Slater National Organizer