Statement Regarding PSAF/Abortion Rights

Statement Regarding PSAF/Abortion Rights

Under capitalism, the forces of concentrated wealth inevitably erode democratic institutions to the point of oligarchy and tyranny. Such is the case today in America where, despite a consistent majority of Americans who support legal abortion, we stand on the brink of a total collapse of the federal protection of that freedom. This will result in a large number of states to swiftly ban abortion. Many of these will be former Confederate states whose democratic institutions never properly flourished beyond the autocratic and patriarchal influence of the plantation class due to the premature end of Reconstruction.

This is particularly cruel in a state like South Carolina, with an underfunded healthcare infrastructure that results in a maternal death rate from childbirth that is forty times larger than that of complications from abortion. This will of course disproportionately affect the poor and people of color who already suffer worst health outcomes from the vicissitudes of for-profit healthcare, crumbling hospital systems along with twin evils of environmental and medical racism.

How did we get here? The blame does not lie solely with the right. In recent years we socialists have witnessed pro-choice organizations go out of their way to endorse liberal candidates over left-wing ones, when both candidates supported abortion rights. While some leaders of these organizations may have prioritized their own idealogical preferences over the mission of their organizations, many may have simply taken liberal leaders at their word that they are the only force preserving abortion rights. Unfortunately liberalism is not up to this challenge presented today by a stacked Supreme Court that stands ready to strike down Roe v. Wade, offering only meek dissent where radical action is required.

Liberals have failed to prevent the slow but persistant rollback of abortion rights at the state and federal levels over the last 50 years. Rather than excerise the Democratic Party’s control over both houses of Congress and the Presidency (as they had in 2009-2011 and currently have since 2021) and pass a federal bill guaranteeing the right to an abortion, they instead neglected this opportunity either from a lack of foresight or political will or worse yet, from a crass desire to perpetually fundraise off of the issue, rather than resolve it. Neither Senate Democrats nor the last two Democratic presidents have exercised authority they possessed to resist anti-abortion judicial appointments, expand the Supreme Court, or even fight back against Republican obstruction of their own judicial appointments. Yet they have the audacity to continually run for office on promises of defending the right to an abortion.

It is truly a confusing time to be a liberal.

However, for socialists, the task is clear. As socialists we reject liberalism, but we do not reject the freedoms promised by it. We disagree with liberalism’s incoherent or sometimes non-existent strategy and theory of power, and we insist that liberal freedoms can only be truly guaranteed under socialism. Freedom for some is not the same as freedom for all. As such abortion rights cannot be protected for some (ie, those lucky to live in states with functioning democracies). Further, just as we understand that we must go beyond public healthcare schemes that seek only to secure the nebulous concept of “access” rather than guarantee it by making it free at the point of service, we also understand that abortion is not truly a right if those who need it lack the means to pay for it.

We socialists are presented with an opportunity to be the vanguard in the defense of reproductive rights in ways that liberal so-called “leaders” lack the will to do. Not only do our political ideals demand it, but prioritizing the defense of abortion rights can help socialists build power by broadening our ideological and electoral coalitions. This can be wielded in both electoral challenges to establishment liberal Democrats, and in attempts to recruit liberal activists, often passionate about abortion rights, to our side.

We must seek to abolish for-profit healthcare entirely, prioritize public health, standardize care, and guarantee abortion as a right no matter a person’s geography or ability to pay. We must require our elected leaders to not only resist the temptations of the medical, pharmaceutical, insurance and of course the anti-abortion lobbies, but possess the political courage to reform or abolish undemocratic institutions that thwart majoritarian rule in order to guarantee these radical transformations. And until the time such leaders are in power and can pass Medicare For All, which as proposed would guarantee all forms of healthcare, including abortion, to be free at the point of service, we must support organizations that directly fund abortion.

It is with this in mind that Columbia DSA endorses the foundation of the Palmetto State Abortion Fund. Furthermore, Columbia DSA encourages its members and allies to donate to and/or volunteer with the Palmetto State Abortion Fund (@PSAbortionFund) as well as the Carolina Abortion Fund (@CarolinaAbtnFnd) and Access Reproductive Care - Southeast (@ARC_Southeast), the other funds covering South Carolina. We also encourage other chapters and socialists everywhere to donate to and fundraise for their local abortion funds, which can be found at the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Medicare For All!

Abortion For All!

Solidarity Forever!