The Time to start fighting for our rights is now
There is a New York Times article on ‘Where the Pro-choice movement went wrong’ out now. It engages in a lot of finger pointing and blame. It ends by pointing out racial divisions. It rightly suggests that by not concentrating on grassroots, pro-choice leaders made big mistakes. And then it was further compounded by not looking at the chipping away by the Hyde Amendment or the Casey decision that chipped away at Roe. But the final arguments are not far-sighted or far-reaching enough.
It’s about not just access or precedent. It’s about rights. Basic Human rights and pro-choice is also talking about IVF for couples and morning after pills. Lots of things are at stake, and are still hanging out there that might make a difference to someone who is not poor and black and single.
So there is a lot of room for blame and lots of blame to go around. But the question is- what now? What are women going to do now? Are they finally going to believe older women who say, “I told you so?” I told you this day was coming…
We marched and we fought and we talked. And you… young people who rolled your eyes and participated in lots of sit-ins and speeches and rallies. But you did no real organizing because most importantly, you didn’t vote. You let us down. You let the side down. You let yourselves down.
There is a generation that needs to pick themselves up and fight all over again for the rights that we thought were sacred. It’s a part of the entire fight for the democracy that needs to be waged. What kind of a country do we imagine that we want to live in?
Is it one where there is no choice? There is no real access because the state decides who can get an abortion and who can’t. And you may even find that there are bounties out there for those who can find a way to turn the abortion providers in!
What do we do now? What do we decide going forward? Do we just let it lie because the dye is cast and the fix is in. Justice Sotomayor called it for what it is. It is a partisan and fixed court that was stacked for the day to overturn Roe. But that is not the end.
Freedom to vote, access to voting facilities, and having control of our reproductive rights was once the norm. Yet now there has been an influx of dark money and corporate interests in voting and in elections; and lobbyists and politicians remind us that “Corporations are people, my friend.” Because that has become the new norm under the Roberts Court. The Roberts Court is an immoral one. It may not be an illegitimate one, but I think it so as they pushed Amy Coney Barrett through after making the exact opposite argument that people were voting and should decide. And yet McConnell/Trump pushed Barrett through before Justice Ginsburg was long in her grave. And that court has been making bad decisions since Citizens United over a decade ago.
Roberts tried to make a pretense of the fact the high court only made decisions based on precedent and rule of law. But it failed with this last push. It’s time to stop fooling ourselves. And it’s time to pick ourselves off the pavement and start to fight. Fighting is something that women have done for over a century. The women’s vote was only attained after a non-violent fight by women that lasted well over 50 years.
Dr. King advocated peaceful resistance and leaders such as Rosa Parks helped make it real. And it was a non-violent struggle, marred only by racist white supremacists who tried to beat and bloody and batter the protestors.
Of course, it won’t be easy. Nothing ever is. But I don’t believe we will need that long to let people know that the freedom to vote and to access our bodies are fundamental rights that we won’t give up easily. The time to start fighting for our rights is now.