Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously overturned a state law that criminalized all terminations of pregnancy and ruled that abortion is not a crime. In a country where most states jail poor women for abortions, this legal victory is huge. It flies in the face of Mexico’s powerful Catholic bishops and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who has denounced the ruling.
This decision is a product of a militant mass movement for women’s rights. In recent years, tens of thousands of Mexicanas took to the streets wearing the green bandanas first seen in Argentina. They stormed the National Palace in Mexico City and held a national one-day strike.
Across the border too many U.S. feminists have pushed a losing strategy, funneling time and money into electing Democrats, instead of organizing mass demonstrations and grassroots activism. The result? In September, the U.S. Supreme Court permitted Texas to criminalize abortion after six weeks and pay civilian bounty hunters. The upcoming ruling on Mississippi’s anti-abortion law may overturn Roe v. Wade.
Only massive protest and nationally coordinated efforts can beat back these attacks. In July, Radical Women initiated just such a campaign for actions on Sunday, Oct. 3. Twenty-four groups in 10 states have endorsed and are organizing actions on the 44th anniversary of Rosie Jiménez’ death from a back-alley abortion. With far-reaching demands that highlight the needs of women of color and poor women, it’s a start towards rebuilding a militant feminist movement (see ReproJusticeNow.org).
Onward to a fighting front here in the U.S. and around the world of feminists, unionists, people of color, queer and trans folk, immigrants and youth — those for whom control of their own bodies has life-and-death impact.