The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.4           February 2, 1998 
Fight For Abortion Rights  
January 22 marked the 25th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision that codified the right for women to choose an abortion. The date should be celebrated as the most important victory for women's rights in the United States in decades, as the ruling struck down all prohibitions on all women to exercise their right to choose when and if to bear children.

The best way to celebrate is through picket lines, rallies, defending clinics, speakouts, and other actions - no matter what size they are - in defense of abortion rights, against the attacks that are taking place right now.

The 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade has brought a flurry of articles in the big-business press claiming there is less support for the right to choose today. These are part of a propaganda campaign to push back the gains for women's rights won in the streets in the 1960s and '70s. There are increasing legal attacks on abortion rights as well. Today there are 17 states that have banned a type of late-term abortion, and Congress has twice passed similar bills. While the White House has vetoed the legislation, Clinton's statements supporting a ban with only a few exceptions help to undercut this fundamental right.

The attacks on abortion rights, like the moves in several states to ban affirmative action, are aimed against the working class as a whole. They are part of trying to divide working people, and drive down the pay, working conditions, and expectations of women. The labor movement should champion the fight to defend these rights. Mobilizations and public meetings serve to push back the right-wing forces that have blockaded clinics, and they answer liberals who argue that "it's not the time to fight." Actions that stand strongly for a woman's right to choose an abortion at any time and any place will build confidence among women's rights fighters and win solidarity from other struggles.

Defend abortion rights! Defend affirmative action!  
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