US election: Who will wage — and win — the battle for full health care and reproductive rights?

[For all the talk of democracy that fills the air and sucks all the oxygen out of the air preventing honest discussion, the capitalist / imperialist system continues to maintain the system of bourgeois class rule with its essential pillars of patriarchy/misogyny/traditional familial property relations, white supremacy/black and brown oppression, xenophobia/exclusion/aggression, Christian club membership, and, bottom line, class exploitation and privilege.

At election times, competing candidates — who have been fully vetted (by the bourgeois powers-that-be) as potential administrators of these systems of power and privilege, oppression and despair — spew volumes of hype and fatuous solutions to the more contentious divides.  But none, ever, speak to the root cause of these systems in the structures of capitalist power, which have invented and/or maintained these pillars throughout its time in power, (and have re-worked and re-branded,  from time to time, these systems).

So, with the Democrats, there has been an embrace of the process of making full use of women workers, professionals, and technicians in service to imperialism.  Upholding women’s reproductive rights including abortion is a critical part of women’s inclusion, BUT it has been steadily restricted (and in many places, practically eliminated and non-existent) on the resource level for poor, working, migrant, imprisoned, unemployed, black, brown, and undocumented women, under every recent President including Obama.  There does not appear to be any effort by the Obama administration or the national Democratic Party to block and roll back these restrictive measures at the state level.  Activists and pro-choice Democratic politicians on the state level have been losing round after round without help from their national party. In this sense, Obama and the national Democratic Party are silent partners and complicit in the growing restrictions on abortion rights.  Obama Democrats have formally supported Roe v Wade but have still let the substantive rights go.  But because rich and professional/petty-bourgeois women have not suffered the loss of reproductive and abortion services — and most people tend to look at these services through their access by privileged classes, (as that is how the mass media tends to frame the issue) — they are praised, though the poor have increasingly lost access to these basic health services.

The other capitalist/imperialist presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, in line with the Republican party program, has cast the issue as a formal rejection of public-financed reproductive rights, and toward the formal elimination of Roe vs Wade.  Given the way power works, a Romney in the White House would likely appoint a fellow Christian misogynist to the Supreme Court, which could lead to elimination of Roe vs Wade.  For poor women, this would mean the expansion of forced pregnancies and childbirth, and rapid re-establishment of illegal abortion mills on a massive scale.  At the same time, for privileged women, abortion services would be concealed within readily available and re-named health services, and continued as a class privilege.

Some will vote against Romney this year with hopes that this will secure reproductive rights.  But since this election bears no prospect of eliminating the systems of privilege and power which continue to require restrictions on reproductive rights, no electoral solution  is at hand.  Capitalism vs socialism is not on the ballot.  In the period ahead, as grassroots forces organize and set an independent course from the degrading and confusing bourgeois electoral process, there must be an emphasis on building  and struggling for grassroots health services, including contraceptive and abortion services.  And the importance of developing programmatic unity on these issues — as part of fighting to establish free and complete medical service for all — is essential for the development of the revolutionary forces.

The following article from the New York Times (representing the bourgeois forces who advocate continued administration of the system by Obama) which argues the view that Romney’s program would create more problems.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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How Romney Would Treat Women

By , New York Times, OP-ED COLUMNIST,  November 3, 2012
IN this year’s campaign furor over a supposed “war on women,” involving birth control and abortion, the assumption is that the audience worrying about these issues is just women.

Give us a little credit. We men aren’t mercenaries caring only for Y chromosomes. We have wives and daughters, mothers and sisters, and we have a pretty intimate stake in contraception as well.

This isn’t like a tampon commercial on television, leaving men awkwardly examining their fingernails. When it comes to women’s health, men as well as women need to pay attention. Just as civil rights wasn’t just a “black issue,” women’s rights and reproductive health shouldn’t be reduced to a “women’s issue.”

To me, actually, talk about a “war on women” in the United States seems a bit hyperbolic: in Congo or Darfur or Afghanistan, I’ve seen brutal wars on women, involving policies of rape or denial of girls’ education. But whatever we call it, something real is going on here at home that would mark a major setback for American women — and the men who love them.

On these issues, Mitt Romney is no moderate. On the contrary, he is considerably more extreme than President George W. Bush was. He insists, for example, on cutting off money for cancer screenings conducted by Planned Parenthood. Continue reading

Greece: Disability activists protest government “austerity budget” cuts

13 December 2011 — More than a thousand of disabled people protested against government cuts and their impact on key benefits such as the disability living allowance, and disability pension.
Waving placards with slogans such as “No to dismantling the welfare state” and “Protect disabled from the misery, poverty and exclusion”, disabled people took to the streets of Athens center to protest at the government’s spending cuts.

The protesters, many of whom had never been on a demonstration before, included people who are virtually immobile with supporters, relatives, charities and friends.

In front of the Greek Parliament Riot Police closed the road not allowing them to go near the Prime Minister Hall, where they wanted to deliver their requests.

L.A. Resident Jose Gutierrez, in Coma After Being Tased by Arizona Border Agents, Threatened With Deportation While Still Unconscious

LA Weekly

By Simone Wilson, Fri., Apr. 15 2011

josegutierrezhead.jpg

Gutierrez' skull had to be removed after a tussle with CBP agents, who won't provide surveillance or specifics

Forty-one-year-old Jose Gutierrez has lived in the U.S. since he was a kid. Until three weeks ago, he shared a house in the affluent Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills with U.S. citizen Shena Wilson and their two children, held a solid job as a film engineer and served as frontman for the popular Spanish-rock band FZ10.

However, Gutierrez is undocumented.

After the L.A. Immigration Court deported him on March 21, Wilson says she lost touch with her husband, but guessed he would try to come back, seeing as their youngest — a five-month-old baby girl — was in the hospital. (Not to mention he has no roots in Mexico.)

The next she heard of him, Gutierrez was in a coma at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.

Wilson got a call from the Mexican consulate in Yuma, Arizona, saying, “We have to let you know that there has been an accident.” Continue reading