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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2019

Reject Alabama abortion ban

  (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Socialist Party women's committee

Alabama legislators have passed a bill that makes it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt to perform an abortion. They even denied an amendment allowing exemptions for cases of rape and incest.

The bill's sponsor Terri Collins - a Republican in the Alabama House of Representatives - admitted it was a direct attack on Roe v Wade. This was the 1973 landmark decision of the US Supreme Court supporting a woman's right to choose.

The legislators are counterposing the rights of the foetus versus the rights of the pregnant woman, which can have tragic results. For example in Ireland Savita Halappanavar died of a septic miscarriage in 2012.

Doctors there had refused to carry out an abortion following an incomplete miscarriage. An abortion, even in these circumstances, would have been illegal at that time.

Accessing an abortion in some parts of the US has become increasingly difficult. Taking legally prescribed pills at ten weeks gestation can cost $800.

Working-class women

Rich women can usually gain access to abortions through their connections and wealth. It is working-class women from all cultures that are forced into either more dangerous back-street abortions or to proceed with their pregnancies, despite difficult economic, social and personal circumstances.

Legal abortions across the US are under threat. The appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court has given opponents of abortion rights a majority there.

Wooing the religious right, Donald Trump now states that he hates abortions, but would tolerate them in cases of incest, rape and danger to the woman's life. But women should have a genuine right to choose without limitations.

There will be resistance to any attempts to limit the right to abortion. Protests have already taken place in Montgomery, Alabama.

It is necessary to take the campaign into the organisations of the working class, particularly the trade unions. There were massive demonstrations against Trump's racist travel ban, but it was the direct actions of workers at airports that forced an initial partial climbdown.

Capitalism has always attempted to control women's fertility according to its need. Women should have a genuine right to choose whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy.

This includes fighting for a fully free health service, an end to low pay and zero-hour contracts, free childcare and benefits that provide enough to live on.

The capitalist system won't give up these things without a fight.

Instead, we need a socialist society where the banks and big business are nationalised and the economy planned under the democratic control of the working class, so we can meet the needs of ordinary people.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 22 May 2019:

International socialist news and analysis

What lies behind the US-China trade war?

Sri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war

Reject Alabama abortion ban


Labour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?

British Steel threatened closure

What we think

European elections expose deepening political crisis: Workers need a party of our own

Workplace news

Birmingham home carers victory

Probation workers celebrate case management renationalisation

Fantastic RMT London Underground victory

Woolwich ferry workers begin ten days of strike action

Morrisons workers reject pay offer

Unite young members' conference

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

4 June - Walk out against Trump! Climate criminal not welcome

Domestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed

Haringey: Socialists' stance fully vindicated

Anger and frustration at the establishment

Lifting the mood

Socialist sales boost

Pouring cold water on the Riverside estate

Worcester Tories stonewall action on climate change

Day of action against cuts to special needs education


Opinion: socialists must link climate struggle to power of organised workers

The Socialist Inbox


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Related links:


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Abortion rights

triangleMass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

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