[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.]
How Romney Would Treat Women
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, New York Times, OP-ED COLUMNIST, November 3, 2012
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