Fight for Abortion Rights

No return to the backstreets

On the streets against attack on abortion rights in the US

by Jane Bassett, Hackney NEU

The decision of the unelected and reactionary US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade is the biggest attack on the rights of women and other pregnant people to control their own bodies in fifty years. Already, some states in the US have triggered abortion bans, leaving women at risk.

Let’s be clear that this will lead to more deaths from back-street abortions, more harassment of women attending abortion clinics and more attempts to change the law in this country and elsewhere. Bigots and anti-abortionists across the globe will have gained huge confidence and are looking to further restrict our rights.  Our response needs to be huge!

There have been big protests in the US, as well as solidarity demonstrations across the world. These need to continue and grow. It is good there will be legal challenges, that Democrats are challenging the decision, and that some leading employers have committed to supporting employees needing an abortion. But the movement on the streets must build resistance: the outstanding victory of the pro-choice movement in Ireland four years ago was built on a mass campaign by women, LGBT+ people and socialists and trade unionists. 

The decision over Roe v Wade needs to be seen in the context of the right-wing attack on the poor, on black and working-class women, on disabled people and on the LGBT+ community and the rights we have all fought for. Already, there is talk of restricting access to contraception and banning same-sex marriage. 

Enough is enough! As trade unionists in this country we need to support our comrades in the US and elsewhere and be ready to fight off attacks on our rights. In Districts:

  • Affiliate and donate to Abortion Rights ( if you wish use the motion below in your district)
  • Commit to supporting demonstrations and other activities offering solidarity to our sisters internationally and defending abortion rights in this country
  • Work to ensure all our students understand their rights to bodily autonomy

Please sign this petition: 

Motion on Abortion Rights

X NEU condemns the decision of the unelected and reactionary US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.

X NEU notes:

  1. The ruling has already led to some states imposing trigger bans on abortion 
  2. This is a totally unacceptable attack on all woman’s and pregnant people’s rights to bodily autonomy. However, it will hit working class and black women hardest, forcing women back to the backstreets and increasing the risk of harm and death. 
  3. The over-turning of Roe v Wade in the US is an attack on us all and is part of a wider offensive against the gains made by women, trans people and the LGBT community and Disabled people, and on Black Lives Matter

Further notes that the successful campaign for abortion rights in Ireland was built through broad organising at grass-roots level, including among trade unionists.

X NEU resolves to:

  1. Affiliate to Abortion Rights Campaign and to donate £
  2. Commit to supporting demonstrations and other activities aimed at both offering solidarity to our sisters internationally and defending rights to abortion in this country
  3. Campaign for proper education for our students on their rights to bodily autonomy

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