The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Far-Right Attack on Working Women

May 24, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court said on May 17 that it will hear a case arising from a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. Legal experts—whether for or against abortion—agree it is a case deliberately picked by the court to rule on Roe v. Wade. This was the 1973 court case legalizing abortion everywhere in the U.S.

The case taken up by the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, allows a state to ban abortion 2 months earlier than Roe. The Supreme Court is using this case to take up the issue of “fetal viability,” a term used to describe when a fetus can survive outside the womb—with or without medical assistance. The U.S. Supreme Court has put Roe itself on the table.

Previous laws restricted abortion, over-regulating women’s healthcare and forcing providers to close.

This case is different. It is asking for a re-determination on whether fetal viability is the dividing line for abortion rights. The Supreme Court aims to set a new standard for when to criminalize abortion.

No matter what the final ruling is, the Supreme Court is flattering the far-right by even accepting this case!

Arguments will be heard in the fall of 2021 and the ruling will come by summer of 2022.

The Supreme Court may hollow out Roe v. Wade even more. Or it may completely take down Roe v. Wade and leave it up to the states to decide.

Look at the measure signed into law by the Governor of Texas on May 19. It shows what state control of abortion can be. The new law bans abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. It contains no exception for rape and incest. Most women do not yet know they are pregnant at 6 weeks, so this is an abortion ban.

This law is sinister because it is something new. It absolves state government from enforcing the law. It makes it legal for male supremacists to bring a civil lawsuit against an abortion provider. It opens the floodgates for bullying, harassing lawsuits to flood the state and shut down clinics and shut down courts.

It is not just those who provide abortions who can be sued. Anyone who stands up for abortion rights can be sued for a minimum of $10,000. It is a broad attack.

Said one female lawmaker in Texas, “This forced pregnancy act will drive women back into the shadows out of fear of harassment through lawsuits that anyone in this country can file.”

Those who support women and oppose the far-right will need to mobilize to meet this attack.

Before the Roe ruling of 1973, thousands died from abortions in the shadows. Working class women were the ones who died. They were the ones who gave birth to more babies than they could safely raise. Wealthy women have always had access to abortion under safe conditions. Working class women are the ones who will die again.

The same right-wing forces pushing the attack on women’s access to abortion also push the attack on workers’ rights, and also push to maintain an unjust legal system that criminalizes the black population.

It makes no sense to wait around for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule. Capitalist governments are not neutral. What is “neutral” about a ruling between the rights of women for healthcare and the “right” of wealthy men to control women?

Better to take off the blinders and figure out what to do next to mobilize and fight!