September 28, 2021 9:09 pm
Since the U.S. Supreme Court sealed its approval for Texas Senate Bill 8 by refusing to intervene against the “heartbeat bill” earlier this month, organizations nationwide have geared up to oppose this egregious violation of reproductive rights. SB 8 makes it illegal for women to get abortions after six weeks of pregancy and allows “any person, other than an officer or employee of state or local government,” to bring a civil suit against anyone believed to have “aided or abetted” an unlawful abortion in return for $10,000 bounties.
Physicians are continuing to perform medically safe abortions in defiance of SB 8. Dr. Alan Braid, an OB-GYN based in San Antonio, Texas, publicly stated in the New York Times that he performed a first-trimester abortion, which exposes him to private lawsuits from practically anyone in Texas regardless of any affiliation with patient or physician. Subsequently, Braid was sued for an SB 8 violation by a former Arkansas lawyer disbarred for tax fraud. Additionally, reproductive services providers like Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman’s Health are facing increased threats of litigation against its staff and providers despite being in temporary compliance with SB 8.
The legal loophole to offer bounties will undoubtedly empower private vigilantes nationwide to systematically target abortion providers, people seeking abortions and those who support them. Unfortunately, this means working class communities will face the brunt of this regressive law and will increasingly suffer from already terrible healthcare disparities. Abortion providers have already highlighted how Texans are travelling hundreds of miles out of state to secure abortion access. Such travel is often not accessible for working class people.
Advocacy groups like Whole Woman’s Health have asked the Supreme Court to intervene urgently in their fight against SB 8 and to hear their case before the lower court ruling. The Supreme Court rejected the request citing procedural questions. It is clear that the Supreme Court majority does not care at all about the violation of reproductive rights and the immense harm SB 8 causes, and only cares about furthering its own conservative agenda.
On Sept. 24, in response to this extremist and regressive bill, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health and Protection Act 2021, which would federally protect the right to “access abortion care throughout the U.S. by creating a safeguard against bans and medically unnecessary restrictions.” It also protects “a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.”
WHPA is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate where the Democrats will need 10 Republicans’ support for the bill to pass. Major Republican lawmakers like Susan Collins have already opposed WHPA on religious grounds. Polling shows that only 30% of Americans support so-called “heart beat bills,” yet the Supreme Court and the majority of the Senate appear poised to side with a well-funded, reactionary minority, rather than the vast majority of Americans.
While WHPA is an important act initiated by the Democrats, history has shown that the Democrats are willing to make concessions in the name of bipartisanship while harming large sectors of poor working class communities. Even when they have full control of the legislative and executive branches of government, the Democrats are slow to move on passing progressive bills. Ever since the passage of Roe v. Wade, right-wing politicians have constantly attacked the decision; reproductive rights have been on the chopping block since. Roe was not a gift from a benevolent Supreme Court; as with Roe, only a militant women’s movement in the streets can pressure the Senate to enact WHPA into law, expand universal abortion access and end the charade of attacking women and other child bearers once and for all.
Nearly 14,000 Haitian asylum seekers are being targeted for deportation by the Biden administration after sheltering in a makeshift camp at the U.S.-Mexico border. Large numbers of these migrants are women and children for whom life in Haiti is especially dangerous right now due to ongoing crises and poverty-spawned violence. This is the largest mass expulsion of migrants and refugees in decades.
Just last month, Haiti experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that took the lives of thousands and injured many more, leaving the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding cities and towns with food and housing shortages amid the destruction. These cataclymsic impacts come after months of political turmoil that both preceded and followed the assassination of former president-turned-dictator Jovenel Moise back in July. For years, if not decades, the nation’s infrastructure has struggled under the pressure of financial embezzlement and lack of social investment for Haiti’s majority poor population by corrupt misleaders.
The Biden administration is relying on Title 42, which uses COVID-19 as an excuse to not interview asylum seekers, in order to mass-deport Haitians. UN officials have challenged this action, calling this a violation of international law. On September 22 U.S. Special Envoy To Haiti Daniel Foote resigned, saying he will not be associated with the U.S.’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.”
Biden could offer protected status to all Haitian refugees today. Instead, he allows Haitian women and children to be brutalized by border patrol agents, and families to be ejected into the middle of a crisis. In many cases, Biden’s immigration policies are more cruel than those of Trump. Within weeks of taking office, Biden deported more Haitians than Trump did in a whole year. Despite the conditions in Haiti right now, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris continue to tell Haitian immigrants to not come to the United States.
The horrifying images of Texan border patrol agents on horses whipping Haitian asylum seekers of all ages are reminiscent of images of enslaved Africans being brutalized by slave masters. They should remind us that the racist system that has historically propped up and enforced anti-Black racism is still deeply entrenched in all facets of U.S. law enforcement and governance.
They should similarly remind us of the struggle that Haitians have faced since successfully waging the Revolution of 1804 that toppled slavery and created the first free Black republic in the world. Since this victory, the imperial powers, notably the United States, have served to create the very conditions that have forced Haitians to flee to the U.S. for refuge. The constant cycle of intervention, propping up of misleaders and dictators (like former president Jovenel Moise), and the blatant exploitation of Haitian labor by U.S. imperialism has created a situation in which families have no choice but to seek refuge.
In many cases, the so-called “aid” that the UN, the U.S., and the international NGO sector has provided to Haiti amidst these numerous crises has only served to make matters worse. Countless instances of sexual abuse against Haitian women and children, or the “loss” of $500 million intended for post-2010 earthquake housing illustrate just that.
It is time the centuries of abuse of Haitians by the United States and its cronies comes to an end. The safety and security of Haitians should not be at the whim of U.S. foreign policy and intervention. We must fight the cruel and inhumane immigration policies under Biden with the same energy we fought them under Trump (and Obama), and we must fight the hand that creates the conditions in Haiti forcing families to flee in refuge in the first place.
Every person who works on the magazine is a full-time or retired worker or student. We are all activists and organizers in our communities. We are revolutionaries, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. We are people from a broad spectrum of nationalities, LGBTQ and other oppressed communities. We are mothers and daughters and nieces supporting our families and our communities in a myriad of ways.
The women of the Party for Socialism and Liberation have:
The murder of 6 Asian women in Atlanta is a symptom of a much larger problem — the deep interconnection between racism and war, or more specifically, imperialist aggression on the part of the U.S. ruling class. Like racism, sexism and misogyny is deeply embedded in the machinery of capitalist war. U.S. domestic and imperialist policies toward Asians utilize racism and sexism as a tool putting women at the heart of U.S. aggression both as targets and as actors in resistance. In “Til all the Flowers Bloom” we seek to develop a framework we can use in struggles against patriarchal and racist oppression. This issue seeks to deepen our understanding of how U.S. imperialist expansion fuels racism and misogyny and what it means to struggle for solidarity.
This issue includes:
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