Just last week, Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva called pregnant women “host bodies” FIVE TIMES in a hearing discussing abortion. He was forced to apologize and claims this was to keep the dialogue “dispassionate.” But, his language really reflects a right-wing position that dehumanizes women. It is inline with a host of other recent attempts to criminalize miscarriage and attacks on reproductive health services. The Trump administration just imposed a rule denying federal funds to clinics that provide abortions or refer women to abortion providers. The coordinated reactionary campaign to undermine Roe v Wade is going to be culminating in legal challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Women’s oppression continues to this day—in the violence, exploitation, humiliation and inequality we face constantly—and so has our resistance.
Today, International Women’s Day is a key day for celebration of the militant struggles that won women the right to vote, the right to abortion and broke down many of the barriers of inequality and oppression built by patriarchal capitalism. Working women were the leaders and organizers—the steely backbone—of strikes and uprisings in the late 1800s and early 1900s that initiated what is today celebrated as International Women’s Day on March 8. In vibrant and often very militant rallies and marches, people across the world mark this important day with political action and celebrations of struggle. This is the root of International Women’s Day!
In the face of the anti-women, anti-people campaigns that find their representative in people like Jose Oliva, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, what we need now, more than ever, is a militant and independent women’s movement. We invite you to celebrate the struggle to end women’s oppression and the gains we have made in the fight for full equality by sharing the political analysis, art, poetry, information and call to action that characterizes each issue of Breaking the Chains.
We salute all the individuals and organizations that today take up International Women’s Day as a point of struggle. We know we need access to abortion, to birth control, to maternity leave, to quality health care, to housing, and to free education. We know that none of this will be handed over to us by those in positions of power in this society. This must be fought for and won. Ultimately, what is needed can only really be guaranteed when we organize society in the interests of working and oppressed people, through socialism.
On International Women’s Day, Breaking the Chains recognizes the critical importance of our past struggles, our current struggles and our future struggles as we build this movement to reorganize society in order to finally do away with women’s oppression. Happy International Women’s Day!