DSA Statement on Georgia Abortion Law

DSA condemns the draconian new Georgia law outlawing abortion after six weeks. That’s earlier than most people even realize they are pregnant, with no exception for rape or incest. We are happy that legal challenges will likely delay its actual implementation.

The law expands the definition of “natural persons” to include embryos and fetuses. That means people who get abortions and their doctors could be criminally prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison. If the law takes effect, people who miscarry may be interrogated for proof it was not intentional. People who travel out of state for abortion and the people who help them will risk charges of criminal conspiracy.

Other news in reproductive health care include a pending Alabama bill which would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment, and a pending Ohio bill which would ban almost all effective methods of birth control. The Ohio bill also  invents a bizarre new medical procedure. If actually attempted, it would likely lead to significantly more maternal deaths.

Groups like the ACLU respond with lawsuits to these new restrictions. But while this strategy can buy us time, it also plays into the hands of the far-right, who seek to overturn the landmark Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion decades ago.

We are in a new legal era, with a conservative Supreme Court majority and federal courts packed with extreme-right judges due to Trump’s support and the many Democrats’ complacency. Trump’s outrageous lie that right now newborns are killed after birth by mother and doctor is a campaign rally talking point intended to create public support for such horrendous laws. It is a narrative used to divide us.

Socialist feminists see legal abortion as more than a protection for pregnant people from death, injury and fear of arrest, all of which increase, especially for poor and working class people and people of color, when they are driven underground to access abortions. We see free and accessible birth control and abortion as more than ways to have critical access to education and economic independence. The ability to control one’s own body is also a central challenge to the logic of capitalism, the patriarchy, and heteronormativity.

Capitalism depends on a male and female couple producing babies, and on selfless, unpaid care in the home to nurture those babies into workers and take care of them later in life when they can no longer produce profit for a capitalist.

Women are socialized from birth to see our role as performing that work. Interrupting the cycle to exert bodily autonomy is an act of resistance and building a movement to collectively demand that right, even more so.

When democratic socialists fight to keep abortion legal and for Medicare for All to include abortion, when we fight to expand the food stamps that young families rely on, when we fight to protect pensions and Social Security for seniors, we are fighting for freedom and we are creating a narrative of collective struggle.

That’s why this year DSA chapters raised over $127,000 for the National Network of Abortion Funds, and our members organized walkouts and joined picket lines led largely by striking women teachers from West Virginia to Los Angeles. We’re not relying on the courts, and we’re not boycotting Georgia since that is where the people most harmed by this bill live.

Instead, we recommend comrades support Georgia based reproductive justice organizations and abortion funds. And we’re building an independent movement of poor and working class people with one foot in the formal political realm and the other foot outside, rooted in chapters such as ours in Atlanta. We fight capitalism with solidarity!