Reproductive rights

Labour leader: the contest so far

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:13

Mohan Sen

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses.

For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson.

Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and

Feminism - AWL conference document 2019

Published on: Tue, 21/01/2020 - 21:10

AWL conference 2019 (Jan 2020)

As revolutionary socialists, fighting for a society based on human need not profit, Workers’ Liberty has always been serious about being class struggle socialists and feminists. This document - passed at AWL conference 2019 - restates our basic perspectives, and outlines what we should be campaigning around now.

The right to choose: the struggle continues

Published on: Thu, 19/09/2019 - 00:03

Kate Buckell

In August the NSW lower house passed legislation to remove abortion from the criminal code, making it the last State to do so in Australia. This is a victory for women’s reproductive rights and it is especially cheering given it comes at a time when we are facing renewed and pernicious attacks elsewhere, most notably the US. In late September the bill goes before the upper house. If it passes it will become law.
The amendments pushed by the upper house, following those in the lower house, are nothing more than attempts to derail the legislation, whatever the movers of these amendments claim.

Decriminalise abortion!

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 10:46

Charlotte Zalens

On Tuesday 23 October, Labour MP Diana Johnson introduced a ten-minute rule bill in the House of Commons to decriminalise abortion in the UK. 208 MPs voted in favour, and 123 against.

The Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 makes abortion illegal in the UK, and this Act was only partly superseded by the Abortion Act 1967. This means that the ″compromises″ built into the ′67 Act, such as the two-doctor rule and giving a reason for termination, must be followed for an abortion not to be a criminal offence. In theory anyone breaching the law could face life in prison. It also means that

Now win abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 12:06

Gemma Short

On Friday 25 May the people of the Republic of Ireland voted to repeal the “eighth amendment” to the constitution, righting a wrong which for almost 35 years had put women′s lives in danger by banning access to abortion even more tightly than it was before under 19th century law.

The vote to repeal was carried by 66.4%, with just Donegal voting not to repeal. Opinion polls have shown majorities in favour of repeal for several years. However the organisation and mobilisation by the anti-choice lobby for the referendum was substantial. It makes the large majority for repeal a very significant

The Third Irish Revolution?

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 11:39

Sean Matgamna

Have you heard the ultimate “Irish” joke? In a referendum on a united Ireland the Protestant Unionists of north-east Ulster campaign for “no” on the grounds that the South is too liberal. The people no longer fear God, maybe scarcely believe in God, and refuse to listen to their spiritual advisers.

The two-to-one vote on 25 May to rip up the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution — entrenched there by a referendum in 1983 — was a great empowering and liberating event for the women of Ireland, Mná na hÉireann. Legislation to allow abortion will soon follow.

The yes vote in the referendum on

“11 women a day travel from Ireland for an abortion”

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 21:46

Polly Barklem from the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign (personal capacity) spoke to Solidarity about the referendum in Ireland on 25 May, on repealing the 8th Amendment to the Irish constitution. That amendment effectively gives a foetus equal status in law with a woman, and often results in medical professionals refusing to carry out abortions even in situations where they are legal, i.e. when the woman’s life is in danger.

You can find out more about the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign online at

What is the current situation for women who need an abortion?

The lessons of Repeal the 8th

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 21:39

Elizabeth Butterworth

Elizabeth Butterworth reviews Repeal the 8th, edited by Una Mullally (2018, Unbound press)

Viewing the Repeal movement from my little shared one bed in north London, it’s easy to romanticise the struggle of my Irish sisters.

Many aspects of the Repeal movement deserve to be extolled and are genuinely moving. Whether Irish Repeal activists win or lose the referendum on 25 May – and it looks from the outside like they may win – the Repeal movement can provide useful lessons for activists around the world.

Repeal has produced and inspired art, poetry, essays, stories and comedy and imbued scores

Protest Trump on 14 July

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 11:15

Michael Elms

In January 2018, US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned trip to the UK.

His stated reason was that the famously unsuccessful realtor didn’t fancy the “off-location” US Embassy. But the real reason was almost certainly that Trump wanted to duck the huge wave of protest that anyone could see would meet any visit. The racist, authoritarian and climate-change-denying policies of the Trump administration stoked a storm of indignation and a series of huge rallies at the very suggestion of his visit.

In mid-April 2018, Trump announced a new trip to the UK, for a “working meeting” with Theresa

Support the Polish socialists

Published on: Tue, 10/04/2018 - 19:33

Michael Chester

On 23 March — the day that has been dubbed “Black Friday”— tens of thousands of predominantly young activists descended on the centres of Poland’s major cities demanding the far-right Law and Justice government drop its plans for abortion reform.

Abortion law in Poland is already one of the most restrictive in the western world. The only exceptions under which a woman can obtain an abortion are in the case of a threat to the mother’s life, severe foetal abnormality or where conception is as a result of a crime (incest and rape).

The reform proposes to remove the exception in cases of foetal

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