Labor and All
Defenders of Democratic and Women’s Rights:
After Colorado Attack:
DEFEND ABORTION CLINICS!
Internationalist protesters at November 28 emergency demo in New York City following the murders at Colorado Springs abortion clinic.
Free Abortion on Demand!
The following Internationalist Group leaflet was
distributed at a November 28 demonstration in New York.
Yesterday, November 27, a gunman laid siege to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic opposite a shopping mall in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three people including a police officer and wounding nine. At this point, authorities have released little information about the killer other than his name, and nothing about his ideology or affiliations. But it is clear that this is a domestic terror attack that is part of the right-wing assault on abortion rights that has been raging across the country for months. This is the terrorist wing of the virulent campaign to defund Planned Parenthood in action, the latest attempt to sabotage women’s most basic rights.
Whether a fascist, a crazed religious fanatic, a deranged individual or whatever, the shooter targeted and entered the clinic, where abortion providers have been heroically providing vital medical services for women despite daily harassment by anti-abortion bigots. According to reports, there are at least a dozen people a day outside the facility seeking to intimidate women as they arrive for appointments, with the mobs sometimes swelling to 200-300 people. The attack underscores the need for the workers movement and defenders of women’s rights to organize mass mobilization to defend the clinics, not just in Colorado but everywhere.
Since the uproar this summer funded by ultra-rightist lobbies over Planned Parenthood’s provision of fetal material for scientific research, there have been at least four cases of arson against Planned Parenthood clinics in the last four months, in Washington, California, Illinois and New Orleans. There are bills in at least eleven states to restrict the PP from providing health care to women, including contraception, ultrasounds, cancer screening and abortions. While Republicans have been leading the latest attacks, federal funding of abortion services was banned as early as 1978 under Democratic president Jimmy Carter.
Democrat Barack Obama says he is personally opposed to abortion, Hillary Clinton says she wants to make it “rare.” Now Obama says the Colorado Springs attack showed the need for more gun control. Wrong! What the deadly assault on the clinic made excruciatingly clear – as did the attack by white supremacists who shot five people two days earlier in Minneapolis, Minnesota at a protest camp demanding justice for Jamal Clark, another black youth gunned down by the police – is the need for defenders of women and all oppressed groups to have adequate means of protecting themselves, exercising their right to organized armed self-defense, and for mass clinic defense to sweep away the anti-abortion thugs.
While Democratic politicians join the attack on women’s rights, even liberal women’s rights groups refused to frontally oppose the rightist assault, refusing to pronounce the “A-word” (abortion) for fear of irking some reactionary constituency. Thus the former National Abortion Rights League is now just NARAL Pro Choice America and many only call for women’s “right to choose.” Against the frenzied “god squads” of anti-abortion bullies, “right-to-life” killers and their politician accomplices who carry out their dirty work in the legislatures and courts, the Internationalist Group calls for free abortion on demand! It is up to the woman and her medical provider to make this decision, and no one else.
Tens of thousands of women die each year because of unsafe, botched abortions. The right to abortion contained in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision hangs by a thread. There have been hundreds of attacks on abortion clinics over the years. Women’s access to abortion services has been severely cut back, due to violent intimidation and rightist efforts to get state legislatures to enact impossible restrictions. Today there are twice as many fake abortion “counseling centers” that try to scare women into having an unwanted child as there are actual abortion clinics. As we wrote in 2006, and again at the time of the last murder of an abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas in June 2008:
“The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International stand for abortion that is legal, safe, free, and on demand. That is, if a woman, of whatever age, wants an abortion to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, then she has the right to have it. No politician, priest or police, or husband or boyfriend or parent or anyone else, should be able to force her to give birth. Period, end of story. Rather than looking to the state to protect abortion providers and their patients, we call for class-struggle defense of the clinics against the anti-abortion ‘god squad’ thugs. We put forward this program in the United States, in Mexico, Brazil, Algeria and throughout the world as part of our program for women’s liberation through socialist revolution.”
–“Defeat the Anti-Abortion Crusade,” The Internationalist No.23, April-May 2006. See also “War on Abortion Rights Escalates,” The Internationalist No. 29, Summer 2009. ■