Texas contingent at
march in Washington, DC, October 2, 2021
was a day of broad united action in the United States to affirm women's
rights, especially their right to health care. Recent months have seen
numerous actions, including pickets and strikes by health care workers,
demanding safe working conditions for all, including increased staffing
and COVID-19 protections, testing and sick days.
October 2 actions focused on current attacks on abortion rights,
established as a legal constitutional right through repeated and
determined struggle which culminated with the1973 Supreme Court
decision Roe v. Wade.
The date was chosen to signal both the Supreme Court (which reconvened
October 4) and Congress (which is debating a bill putting the right to
abortion into law) that women firmly reject these brutal attacks on
their rights. In large numbers, hundreds of thousands nationwide, women
stood up to demand their right to health care and their specific
women's rights as the human beings responsible for giving birth and
nurturing children. Many mothers and daughters participated as did
people from all walks of life.
place in no less than 660 cities large and small. As the call for the
actions put it, demonstrators were fighting "for our human rights" and
that "we'll never let go of our vision of reproductive justice; for
unfettered abortion access and everything we need to support and grow
our families to thrive and live healthy lives."
Women's March organization was joined by 90 others in initiating the
call for demonstrations. There were rallies, pickets, banner drops,
virtual meetings, marches and other events in every state. One of the
largest demonstrations was in Washington, DC and huge rallies were also
held in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California,
just to name a few. Health care workers, the majority of them women,
played a significant role.
Among the demands raised
were to declare a recent Texas law unjust, illegal and an example of
the dark reaction being imposed on the people. As signs put it, "Keep
Your Laws Off My Body." The Texas law imposes an almost complete ban on
abortions. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest and makes
abortions illegal when a heartbeat can be detected -- at about six
weeks, when many women do not even know they are pregnant. Providers
have made clear that 85-90 per cent of abortions occur after six weeks.
Mississippi law, which comes before the Supreme Court in December,
makes abortions illegal after 15 weeks. Other states, especially in the
South and Midwest have also limited abortion access. Current Supreme
Court precedents, including
Roe v. Wade and others since, prohibit states from banning
abortion before the point fetuses can sustain life outside the womb, or
about 24 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy.
and Mississippi laws are part of broad government attacks on women and
children and their health care rights, including those against the many
forced into detention camps at the border and elsewhere, unsafe
conditions in schools, lack of child care and more. There is also
concern that given the increasing government attacks on rights, the
Supreme Court will overturn its previous rulings.
the heart of the ongoing fight is the human right to health care for
all, with meeting the needs of women and children central to providing
that care. As the October 2 and many other actions show,
women across the country are making clear that they are affirming their
rights by making their claims on government to meet them. They are
speaking out in their own name for their rights, as the many speakers
and participants October 2, nurses on strike, and teachers rejecting
unsafe schools, continue to do.
Los Angeles, CA
North Hampton, MA
New York City, NY
Voice of Revolution is the
newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.
This article was published in
Volume 51 Number 10 - October 10, 2021