Fight for Abortion Access

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R - 38: Fight for Abortion Access

This resolution dedicates DSA resources to the fight for abortion access, building on existing work within chapters and through reproductive justice organizations. It requires endorsed candidates to unequivocally support abortion rights, incorporates abortion rights into our Medicare for All work, and frames our demand for free & unrestricted abortion within an overall vision of reproductive justice.

Why Is Build Endorsing Resolution 38?

  • We cannot build a better world if we cannot seize the means of our own reproduction.

    • Reproductive autonomy is a fundamental human right.

    • When we control whether, when, and how to have children, we are able to fight back against capitalism and live our own lives. When that control is stripped from us, our bodies and our lives are no longer fully our own but have been stolen by the state for forced reproduction of the next generation of laborers.

    • As long as abortion is treated as a separate category of healthcare, the people most oppressed by capitalism will suffer disproportionately due to the restrictions, waiting periods, provider shortages and added expense this schism creates.

    • The impact of the criminalization of abortion will not be felt evenly by all people. Instead, criminal penalties will fall most heavily on the already marginalized—on people of color, on trans men and non-binary individuals, on undocumented persons, on sex workers, on the disabled, all of which are at increased risk of incarceration and state violence. Left in the hands of the NGO-industrial complex, the fight for abortion access will center the concerns of middle-class white women and ignore these more vulnerable groups.

  • Securing reproductive rights can build on both our local organizing and an intentional use of DSA’s voice at a national scale.

    • We have to fight for abortion access in the institutions and in the streets. 

    • Forced birth legislation is grounded in misogyny and the desire to uphold a cis-heterosexual normative model of reproduction within ‘traditional marriage.’ As the most prominent socialist organization in the US, we believe DSA must challenge the dominant liberal narrative that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” and replace it with a full-throated call for abortion to be fully funded and freely available without stigma.

    • We cannot rely on the courts to protect our reproductive freedom, and we must apply both legislative pressure and direct action to fight back. It’s up to us. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Concern: Aren’t we already doing this work in some chapters?

Answer: Yes! But this resolution will elevate and amplify our fight for abortion access to the national scale, cementing our commitment to reproductive justice and challenging the public misperception that DSA is an out-of-touch boys’ club. It will help chapters to start new efforts to organize for abortion rights in their own communities by making it easier to share what has worked elsewhere.

Concern: Wouldn’t requiring DSA-endorsed candidates to make an explicit commitment to abortion rights restrict the electoral work that we take on?

Answer: We strongly believe that support for abortion rights is the floor for endorsement. If a candidate does not feel that all people deserve control over their own bodies, then why should we feel comfortable with that person representing us?