San Francisco: Standing for Women’s Lives & Abortion Rights

"Anti-Choice Bigots Unwelcome in San Francisco"

Saturday, January 23, a west coast “March for Life” brought thousands of people against abortion into San Francisco.  A few dozen pro-choice supporters infiltrated the beginning of their march, and staged an action that briefly halted the march. People from 20 to 81 years old held a banner reading “Anti Choice Bigots Not Welcome in San Francisco” crosswise, until police roughly yanked them off the street.

On Friday, in Oakland, pro-choice activists surrounded the area’s largest abortion clinic, as anti-abortion activists protested there.

See the East Bay Express coverage.

Bea Johnson spoke for World Can’t Wait at the rally of about 100 pro-choice people.

Every year the ominous drumbeats grow louder and closer: we are up against a dangerous, highly organized movement backed from top levels of government and society, that’s out to overturn Roe and to destroy women’s humanity – by destroying our right to make for ourselves the most fundamental decisions that affect our lives and the lives of all around us.

Whether it’s the Catholic Church misleading its flock – or the Christian Fascists who believe women’s bodies and lives are the property of men or of the white male dominated bi-partisan congress attaching anti-abortion amendments to phony health care reform bills….  we must defeat this danger.

We live in the most powerful country on earth, which is unleashing the most violent military advance in history on impoverished people in 3 different countries as we speak, and torturing people in prisons in Afghanistan as well as Guantanamo. One war is now escalating, partly in the name of defending women’s rights – while in Afghanistan; the pro-US President Karzai oversees massive electoral fraud – and new laws that legalize marital rape

All this devastation began with Bush, and is continuing under the leadership of the first Black president, who just won the Nobel Peace Prize, after a campaign that mobilized women, people of color, queers, people against the war, and progressive people who believed that electing this president would move the country in a new direction.

The U.S. is wracked with division over the crimes initiated by the previous Bush regime and over the continuing strain on its military and economy and the culture wars now boiling… over the social position of women, people of color, immigrants, queer people, and the role of traditional marriage in cementing a stable imperialist society. The rightwing teabag types who enthusiastically embraced the Bush presidency and everything it represented, now howl and rage against Obama, who they call “fascist-socialist” (sic) — “the anti-Christ” – and the “N” word.

Meanwhile democrats, led by Obama, preach that “we must seek common ground” with these rightwing lunatics. The most prominent abortion doctor is shot while in church, and in response, violence and threats against clinics around the country increase. Armed racists gather outside Democrat organized public meetings without police intervention, while students in Pittsburgh are gassed and beaten during the G20 meetings for the world’s elites.

The “progressive president” says he’s against gay marriage on the basis of his religion, and who in power calls him out for it?  Obama promises that the health insurance reform he wants will not become an “abortion bill” or provide coverage to undocumented immigrants. He violates the constitutional separation of church and state by appointing an anti-abortion, anti-birth control Catholic activist to direct the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and yet…we are told to have faith that this system will work. That we must be willing to compromise. That we must have the stamina to suck it up and work on the next congressional race, and “push” the Democrats into fulfilling  one of the basic planks of their own party platform: abortion and birth control rights for women.

I say for World Can’t Wait: NO, NO, and NO!

What’s really at stake here? Your government wants to make abortion a crime, for which women must suffer, repent, and sometimes die.  Jane Fonda long time radical activist said in response to Stupak:

“People are often surprised that we are still fighting this battle for freedom of choice after so long. I’m not. I’ve come to understand that anti-choice and opposition to contraception has nothing to do with pro-life or pro-fetus; it has everything to do with power and who has it. It represents a mindset that values women mainly for their services as wives and sexual partners to men and as producers and rearers of children.

“Reproduction and sexuality are keys to women’s empowerment. If a woman is able to determine the reproductive and sexual aspects of her life, it means she can also control and determine other aspects of her life. When women are robbed of reproductive health and contraceptive decision-making, they lose an essential element of what it means to be a full human being.”

There is energy out there right now crying to be marshaled. What are we going to do?

There can be no common ground with maniacs.  Stop tying our dreams to what is politically expedient, start speaking the truth, and start acting like human beings with some passion and principles!

We want Abortion on demand and without apology…

Without this basic right, women can never be free.

Dr. Tiller, we will never forget you and we will never go back!

Right to Life – your name’s a lie!  When abortion is illegal, women die!

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