Reproductive rights

Government U-turn on abortions

Published on: Mon, 30/03/2020 - 21:35

Katy Dollar

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has warned abortion services are “buckling” under the pressure of the coronavirus chaos, and some women have been unable to access abortions.

Many clinics have already had to close due to staff isolation. Those wishing to access abortion who have been advised to self-isolate have been left with the choice of exposing themselves to greater risk of infection or continuing with unwanted pregnancies.

On Monday 23 March, the Department of Health announced temporary changes to abortion regulations. During the Covid-19 crisis abortion pills could prescribed

Babies, brooders and the abolition of gender

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:45

Kelly Rogers

“How can men be mothers! How can some kid who isn’t related to you be your child?” She broke free and twisted away in irritation.

“It was part of women’s long revolution. When we were breaking all the old hierarchies. Finally there was that one thing we had to give up too, the only power we ever had, in return for no more power for anyone. The original production: the power to give birth. 'Cause as long as we were biologically enchained, we’d never be equal. And males never would be humanized to be loving and tender. So we all became mothers.”

An exchange between Connie and Luciente in
Woman on

RLB, abortion rights and disability

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:13

Pete Boggs

During the Labour leadership contest, Rebecca Long-Bailey answered a questionnaire from the Catholic church in her constituency, saying amongst other things that she personally disagreed with the different term limits for terminating a pregnancy when there is no disability (up to 24 weeks) compared to when there is (up to full-term). Whilst this alone does not make it clear if she personally wants term limits to be removed altogether or for them to be reduced to 24 weeks across the board, in the context of her other comments about abortion in the questionnaire the latter seems more likely.


Catholicism and women's rights

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:05

íosa Críost-Ríobhca

During the current Labour leadership election, Rebecca Long-Bailey (RLB) admitted to holding religious objections to abortion rights based on her Catholicism. Whilst this has not seemed to affect her voting record on this issue, it is concerning that many on the left were so quick to jump to the defence of RLB and Catholicism in general, with some even painting those that voiced concern about the influence of Catholic belief in politics as anti-Irish.

Anti-Catholic sentiment in the UK remains a live issue in the North of Ireland as well as in parts of Scotland, and this is certainly rooted,

As early as possible, as late as necessary

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:01

Ruth Cashman

Our reproductive rights include the right to dignity, information, and bodily autonomy and integrity. In a world where so much of the framework of sexism has been control of women’s sexuality, body, and reproduction, our right to make autonomous decisions about our own body and reproduction is central to our right to physical and psychological integrity. We know that under capitalism there is a limit to the choice and control we have over reproduction, but we push for the greatest possible bodily autonomy. In some places we have seen steps forward in reproductive freedom, most recently the

Strength and audacity we have never before known

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 16:45

Jill Mountford

“…the Ford women have definitely shaken the women of the country.” (Rose Boland, one of the leading women in the Equal Pay Strike at Ford Dagenham,1968)

“We have achieved more in six weeks than the politicians and trade unions have in years.” (Mary Denness, one of ‘Headscarf Revolutionaries’ who changed health and safety laws for fishermen working on the trawler ships, Hull, 1968 )

“It felt like the culmination of something. It didn’t feel like the absolute beginning.” (Sally Alexander, in an interview 20 years on from the first Women’s Liberation Conference in 1970. Sally was one the two

Labour leader: the contest so far

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:13

Mohan Sen

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses.

For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson.

Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and

Feminism - AWL conference document 2019

Published on: Tue, 21/01/2020 - 21:10

AWL conference 2019 (Jan 2020)

As revolutionary socialists, fighting for a society based on human need not profit, Workers’ Liberty has always been serious about being class struggle socialists and feminists. This document - passed at AWL conference 2019 - restates our basic perspectives, and outlines what we should be campaigning around now.

The right to choose: the struggle continues

Published on: Thu, 19/09/2019 - 00:03

Kate Buckell

In August the NSW lower house passed legislation to remove abortion from the criminal code, making it the last State to do so in Australia. This is a victory for women’s reproductive rights and it is especially cheering given it comes at a time when we are facing renewed and pernicious attacks elsewhere, most notably the US. In late September the bill goes before the upper house. If it passes it will become law.
The amendments pushed by the upper house, following those in the lower house, are nothing more than attempts to derail the legislation, whatever the movers of these amendments claim.

Decriminalise abortion!

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 10:46

Charlotte Zalens

On Tuesday 23 October, Labour MP Diana Johnson introduced a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons to decriminalise abortion in the UK. 208 MPs voted in favour, and 123 against.

The Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK, and this Act was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. This means that the ″compromises″ built into the ′67 Act, such as the two-doctor rule and giving a reason for termination, must be followed for an abortion not to be a criminal offence. In theory anyone breaching the law could face life in prison. It also means that

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