What is the CPUSA’s position on abortion rights?

BY: Michelle Kern| June 27, 2016
QWhat is the CPUSA's position on abortion rights?
AThe CPUSA supports a woman’s right to choose. Reproductive health is an issue that crosses racial and socioeconomic lines and has significant social, economic and health-related impacts. Safe, affordable and geographically accessible access to reproductive health has been in the crosshairs of the ultra-right for a generation and continues today with draconian laws and public fear-mongering.

A lack of access to women’s health services in marginalized communities makes this starkly apparent. In a recent statement to the DNC Platform Drafting Committee, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective Executive Director Monica Simpson illustrated the challenges for women of color in small communities to receive proper care: “The nearest abortion clinic for those who were strong enough to endure the shame of their community and the church was 30 miles away. There were no sidewalks, or public transportation system, to get a person there, even if they wanted to have one.” Later on, Simpson continued, “Black women are dying during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period at [rates] nearly four times higher than white women.”

An unplanned pregnancy can push a woman already in an unstable economic situation into financial chaos, with low-wage women getting hit the worse with mounting cares like health coverage, prenatal care, and astronomical child-care costs. (Even middle-income families can face a lifetime expense of hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise a single child.) Women without quality access to abortion care are often forced to take risky attempts to end pregnancies on their own, with another consequence of possibly facing criminal charges now in some states for terminating their own pregnancy.

The fight for access to reproductive health services should be considered a key one inside the spectrum of other struggles for social and economic liberation for working people.

    Michelle Kern has worked as part-time faculty in the Bay Area as a ceramics teacher for seven years. She has lived and worked primarily in the East Bay in the arts, including work at the Richmond Art Center and helping to found the independent art gallery Cricket Engine in Oakland. She relocated back to her native Peninsula four years ago to be closer to work, and now is beginning art, activism and union activity here in Silicon Valley.

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