I hope people have been paying attention to the news. In Haiti, the United States right wing, including President Bush, instigated a coup against the democratically elected president Aristide. Bush is trying to pass the Patriot Act again because it is becoming expired. And The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed in the United States. This is just to name a few.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act allows a defendant to be charged with two federal crimes when a pregnant woman is injured or killed during an assault. This act is a response to one case where a pregnant woman was attacked and killed. Instead of creating a bill that heightens the penalties for an attack on a pregnant woman, the bill is worded in such a way as to set a legal precedent that a fetus should be guaranteed the same rights as a woman. There has long been a debate as to whether or not Roe v. Wade could be overturned, some arguing, I think ignorantly, that it could never happen. The Supreme Court currently rests under the hands of Bush- potentially for another term. Even so, I believe rather than overturn Roe v. Wade, the government is working instead to create a precedent that a fetus should have the same rights as grown women.
This bill follows with other legislation that has been created recently at the state level, as pregnant women are increasingly facing criminal charges for testing positive for drugs while pregnant. In several states, low income women, particularly women of color, are targeted for mandatory drug testing when seeking prenatal care. Doctors are threatened with criminal charges if they fail to notify the police immediately when a pregnant woman tests positive for drug use. It doesn’t matter if the woman used just one time; even before realizing she is pregnant. With the passing of this law, women may be now facing federal prosecution. Women who are incarcerated lose custody of their children, particularly if they are a single parent, and a majority of women never regain custody of their children. The alternative is often that their children jumping from foster home to foster home.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is just a thinly veiled attack on women’s reproductive rights. The government has little interest in protecting women from violence, it simply wants to undermine the rights for women to choose how we use our bodies. This is a gross example of the ways in which the US government takes advantage of a tragic event and uses it to further a right wing agenda, and to clear the way for denying people civil rights. It’s important to remember that even a bill as simple as the Equal Rights Amendment was never passed, which was a bill to allow women the same legal status and rights as men.
There is a rally in Washington D.C. at the end of this April for reproductive rights, I hope everyone makes a pointed effort to go. Anyone believing in anarchy and self determination must stand behind a woman’s right to choose. It is appalling that there hasn’t been more action against the right wing agendas. Everyone get off your ass.
p.s. I still have copies of Mine #1 and #2 available, the abortion stories zines- Microcosm, Pander, Stickfigure, Leaving a Paper trail distros all carry them. I am in massive transit, no home right now so I don’t got a mailing address.
p.s.s. I am putting together an art book of interviews and reproductions of radical artists, and I’m seeking financial assistance/grants to put out the book. Anyone with a trust fund, wants to put on a benefit, or funding ideas please contact me at email@example.com.