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One year after Dobbs

The fight for reproductive justice

A panel of activists discusses strategies to mount a defense and counteroffensive to win full reproductive justice including free abortion one year following the Dobbs decision.

In over half the country, abortion is either banned or under severe restriction and all but inaccessible. Speakers on the May 28 Tempest panel “One Year After Dobbs: The Fight for Reproductive Justice” discussed the state of the reproductive rights movement and reflected on what it will take to win.

Mary Gen Davies is a public librarian in Chicago, where she helps to organize Drag Story Times across the city, as well as other queer and youth programming. She is a member of the Tempest Collective.

Kenyatta Thomas is the state communications strategist at Physicians for Reproductive Health, where they elevate the stories and expert voices of medical providers in the media. They began their career in comprehensive sex education advocacy with Teen Health Mississippi at 17-years-old before branching out to the broader reproductive justice movement through work with Advocates for Youth, the National Network of Abortion Funds and Reproduction. Kenyatta is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Camila Valle is an editor, writer, translator, and member of New York City for Abortion Rights and the editorial board of Specter Journal. Her translation of  LASTESIS’s Set Fear on Fire is out now from Verso Books.

Jenny Brown is a member of the National Women’s Liberation and Assistant Editor at Labor Notes. She is a co-author of the Redstockings book, Women’s Liberation and National Healthcare, Confronting the Myth of America and author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work. Her latest book is Without Apology: the Abortion Struggle.

Nancy Welch is a professor emerita of English at the University of Vermont, where she helped found the union representing full and part-time faculty. Her latest book, 10 More Things About Us, a collection of stories about caregiving is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. She’s a member of Tempest and of her Upper Valley (Vermont and New Hampshire) Democratic Socialists of America, and an activist in Upper Valley for Abortion Rights.

Mary Gen Davies: Welcome to this panel sponsored by the Tempest Collective. The Tempest Collective aims to create a space for the Left to come together to discuss and debate. Our goal is to put forward a revolutionary vision that is clear and understandable, that weighs in on strategic and tactical questions, offers concrete guidance, as well as political theory, and presents a consistent set of working class politics from below. Tempest is a membership-based organization with chapters in Chicago, LA, New York, and throughout the United States. You can learn more about us by visiting tempest

Today’s event will address the movement for reproductive justice. Last year, the Supreme Court overruled the will of the majority and overturned Roe v. Wade, unleashing states across the country to impose bans and restrictions on abortion rights.

Some states have defended the right with shield laws and even enshrined abortion in their state constitutions, but in over half the country, abortion is either banned or under severe restriction and all but inaccessible. This panel of activists will talk about these conditions, efforts to defend rights and ideas and strategies to mount a defense and a counteroffensive to win full reproductive justice.

First, we will hear from Kenyatta Thomas.

Kenyatta Thomas: I’m originally from Mississippi, which if everyone is aware, that is where the Dobbs v. Jackson case originated. I remember doing advocacy when the case was starting, just before I left the state to move to DC. I have been an organizer like this in hostile states. I have also worked with abortion funds and with advocacy groups at the state and national level. I think it’s important to begin by saying that Dobbs wasn’t the beginning of the abortion crisis in America. For so many communities, for Black people, indigenous people, people of color, young people, people in rural communities and queer folks, barriers to abortion access have always existed. So, when we’re talking about Dobbs, and even when some people use the language of restoring Roe, we are ignoring the fact that even when Roe was still the law of the land, there were millions of people who still could not access abortion on their own terms.

They had to face so many barriers, whether psychological testing or 72-hour wait periods, or if they’re a young person having to wait for parental approval. A lot of barriers already existed, and unfortunately with the Dobbs decision these barriers based on different systems of oppression have only gotten worse. Abortion bans are impacting communities who already have faced other systemic barriers preventing them from accessing the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual health care.

People in states such as Mississippi, Texas, or Louisiana have to travel hundreds of miles for care because the surrounding states are continuing to pass more and more restrictions and bans. It’s made even worse by the fact that these laws and legislation are written by people who are not medical experts.

These legislators have not gone to medical school. They know nothing about the situations that they are creating laws about. There is a legal gray area.  Medical providers are unsure about the best course of action because the legislation has vague language about what counts as “risk to the life of the pregnant person.” Often, what ends up happening is that pregnant people are left unable to access care. Hospitals are delaying lifesaving medical care because of this legislation, and doctors are unsure what to do. They don’t know if they will face legal action. They don’t know if their patient will die. The best action for them is to just wait. And this is because of the actions of legislators who are not inside these clinics. They’re not in emergency rooms; they are not providing medical care to these communities that they are creating laws and legislation about.

This situation affects doctors, people seeking abortion, and pregnant people. Pregnant people have been unable to access care when they’re having a miscarriage. They have been turned away from receiving care when they have an ectopic pregnancy.

Statuses of elective abortion in the U.S., March 2023; image credit, Wikimedia Commons.

Another impact of anti-abortion laws has been the fear of surveillance and potential criminalization. People are afraid to get health care because there’s a risk. If someone has a miscarriage, they’re opening themselves up, not because of any fault of their own, but because of legislation that leads to surveillance and criminalization.

Despite the fact that miscarriage is an incredibly common outcome of pregnancy even prior to Dobbs, people face criminalization for having miscarriages. What essentially has been created is a situation in which the law cannot address all of the different circumstances and outcomes facing pregnant people.

We’ve already seen that states with abortion bans are also seeing a drop in their number of OB-GYN residency applicants because medical providers don’t want to open themselves up to legal action for simply doing their jobs and providing health care. There’s also the fact that abortion clinics in states where it may be less difficult to access abortion are overwhelmed, so they can’t effectively provide care to patients who are traveling from other states.

This huge mess of a problem is made worse by the legal attacks that are happening on medication abortion as well. There is misinformation that is being spread despite the fact that SMA (self- managed abortion) with Mifepristone and Misoprostol is incredibly safe and effective. There’s misinformation about it being dangerous, again, mostly being spearheaded by people who are not medical experts.

What gives me hope are the advocates operating in so many different arenas to fight against these laws, including young people, physician advocates, and abortion funds.

Young people have been doing incredible work. Even prior to Dobbs, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Advocates for Youth, which has young people doing work across the country on state, national, and local level, fighting for abortion access and other reproductive and sexual health care rights.

The Youth Abortion Support Collective is a nationwide network of young people who are committed to becoming expert resources on abortion and to making sure that the folks in our communities can understand all of the options and get the support that they need. Most recently in New York, student organizers through the Reproductive Justice Collective organized for a bill that now will require CUNY and SUNY, colleges across the city and state to provide access to medication abortion at student health centers.

These efforts have been spearheaded by young people who are educating themselves about self-managed abortion. They are collaborating with abortion clinics and abortion funds and doing incredible work. Because young people already face so many barriers to accessing abortion and care, that work is amazing and inspirational. I truly think that young people are going to be a critical tentpole of this fight and for the future because of their fearlessness, bravery, and willingness to stand up against these systems of oppression and for freedom and liberation.

Physician advocates are another source of hope. I work with Physicians for Reproductive Health, a network of nearly 500 physician advocates who are dedicated to providing compassionate evidence-based abortion care to the communities they serve. Their advocacy work is happening in the media and the press, and they’re providing testimony based on their experiences as actual medical experts to fight for their patients to be able to access the health care that they need.

There are also abortion funds, which are so incredibly critical in this fight. Every day, they’re helping people overcome the financial and logistical barriers to access the abortions that they need.

This fight is messy. There are a number of different things happening. As we go forward, people are learning to find their niche, where they can fit in, and how they can advocate on different fronts.

In this fight, it’s important to center reproductive justice, which is a framework of liberation that was gifted to us by a group of Black people, Black women specifically, that says reproductive justice is the human right to have children, to not have children, and to raise the children that we do have in safe and healthy environments. By keeping reproductive justice as the center of the vision vision of what we’re all fighting for, we’re opening up to a path toward liberation. We must listen to the most directly impacted communities, the people who are having abortions, the people who are going to need abortions, and the people who are already facing so much systemic oppression and lack of access to basic human rights.

Camila Valle: I’m going to be talking just a little bit about the abortion movement in Argentina and some lessons and questions I think we can be thinking about in the U.S. context.  I believe that we should look to feminist movements in the global South and Latin America and other parts of the world.

In Argentina, the abortion movement has been tied to other movements in the country and in the region. It won the legalization of abortion in December, 2020 in the context of mass uprisings around femicide, against austerity, against debt and the International Monetary Fund, and against imperialism. The abortion movement also took place in the context of worker struggles, union struggles, queer struggles, and student struggles. The  abortion movement is a piece in this broader landscape of different dynamics in society.

A green banner with white writing has a women's symbol and the words Por Nuestro Derecho a Decidir (for Our Right to Decide)
“For our right to decide”: Argentinian abortion rights banner; image from Wikimedia Commons.

Of course, it is really different to fight for the legalization of abortion in a country that hasn’t had it, versus a country like the U.S. that had won that right and then had it taken away.

In Argentina, the national campaign for the right to legal abortion centered around three very concrete demands. These were comprehensive sex education in schools and other educational settings, free and accessible birth control, and free abortion on demand as part of a socialized health care system.

Within that campaign, there were various networks focused on different parts of the picture. For example, there were networks trying to make abortion pills more widely available in Argentina and in the region, of course illegally, in a kind of underground market; networks of educators who were working on writing curricula and doing research; physicians, nurses, and midwives who were talking about their experiences in clinical settings; and doulas, who would accompany people through their abortions even when it was illegal.

There was this whole infrastructure that was built and organized around the idea of the national campaign while simultaneously pushing for a bill to legalize abortion in the country. These two things were happening at the same time, the legislative route that enshrined the right to abortion federally as well as actual networks of people who were organizing at the grassroots level from the bottom up.

Both of these things pressured the state to legalize abortion and institute these demands. One really key point is that the abortion fight was really about the fight against neoliberalism and the general crisis of society that people were experiencing, as well as a fight against the kind of entrenchment of traditional gender roles. The nuclear family has been the only place where people can seek refuge and get care, but this nuclear family is narrowly imagined as a cis-heteropatriarchal family.

This was also a fight against the state, against the government that would rather make criminal pacts with the International Monetary Fund to pay the external debt that the people had no responsibility for. The government was imposing austerity instead of giving people the care that they wanted and deserved.

I think in the U.S. we have similar infrastructures. As Kenyatta was saying, there are abortion funds, for example, that provide financial and logistical support to people seeking abortions. We have these networks of people mailing pills even in states with restrictions. We have educational components. A number of these campaigns, spearheaded by young people like the Reproductive Justice Collective, are working to make abortion pills widely available on all public college campuses in New York.

But on the whole we find ourselves in a position of defensiveness against this onslaught of attacks that we know are going to keep coming and are going to make the situation worse and worse. These infrastructures that we’ve built for a long time are facing more strain than ever because of the situation and the dynamics that Kenyatta was talking about.

One cause is, obviously, the Dobbs decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion. But racism and other structural oppressions have really impacted certain communities: medical racism, the history of obstetrics, questions like the maternal mortality rate, as well as the kind of NGOizaton of the abortion movement after Roe was passed in the early 1970s. Planned Parenthood became the main face of the mainstream abortion movement even though they’re not the ones who are providing care in restricted states or doing abortions when people are further along in their pregnancies.

We  need to imagine points where we can start coalescing nationally. Community-based organizing is absolutely vital. The situation is uneven because there are different laws in different states. So something that might work in one state is not going to work in another state. It’s uneven by design. Unlike in Argentina you can’t have a national campaign that has three demands for the entire country. It’s a little trickier in the U.S.

But I do want to open up a conversation around what we can envision when we think about a kind of national movement that, instead of being on the defensive, always embattled, can be built to win back what we have lost. I have some ideas of what that could be. One is overturning the Hyde Amendment, which is the legal amendment that precludes any federal funds from being used for any kind of abortion service. So if, for example, you’re on Medicaid, you can’t use it to access abortion care, which basically means that poor and working class people have absolutely no access to abortion even in cases where it is legal.

What do we think about the kind of different constitutional campaigns in different states enshrine legal abortion in the state constitution? There are questions of access and questions of health care. In Argentina, for example, we have public health care, and so when you talk about free abortion on demand, that’s a much easier thing to imagine when health care is a right and should be free for people. In a country like the U.S., where people don’t think that, it’s not the reality. What does that mean?

Those are some questions for discussion.

Jenny Brown: I’m going to back up and talk a little bit about the context of our struggles around abortion and birth control. Basically in the context of a global capitalist freakout about low birth rates, I wrote this book called Birth Strike that was published in 2019. I had to dig into think tank reports and books where people were talking to each other to really find evidence of this concern.

There was a lot of evidence there, but this has really accelerated in the last four years. I get the Financial Times, and not a week goes by without three or four articles about the effects of low birth rates, aging populations, declining populations, and the effects on profitability, public expenditure, and inflation.

Europe’s population is now shrinking in absolute terms, as Japan’s has been for about a decade. This is really a new situation for capital. Since the inception of the system, there has been this underlying population growth, which has been decreasing. The effect of lower birth rates has been softened by immigration to rich countries.

The birth rate in many of the emigré countries such as India, which for example, in 1950 had a birth rate of 5.9 children per woman is now below replacement at two children per woman. Mexico, for example, has had a very similar drop down to 1.9. Now the Philippines has a similar drop down to 1.9, and this is leading to fears among pro-immigration capitalists that the stream of adult labor into the U.S. will slow to a trickle.

And of course, lower birth rates accompany urbanization and lower infant mortality rates. Both of those are factors, but those processes have been generally stable in the United States over the last 20 years. We’re still experiencing a decline in birth rates after staying weirdly high for the last few decades. That high rate is probably due to some of the conditions that Kenyatta mentioned, where people really did not have good access to birth control and abortion even though they were technically legal.

Now, the U.S. birth rate has dropped to European levels, around 1.65. We know why people are having fewer children. When we do consciousness-raising in my group, National Women’s Liberation, it’s clearly visible in our own decisions to stop at one child or to decide not to have any. The big factors are long work hours, high housing costs, unreliable health care, expensive or unattainable child care, and defunded schools, parks, and libraries. Basically all of the things that push the costs and expenses of child rearing and even childbearing onto women and families and shrink the available space, time and support that make it feasible to have kids.

You know, half the country doesn’t have $500 for an emergency, so when we get lectured by liberals about only having children when we can afford them, I don’t know who they think is going be able to afford them. In countries with stronger labor movements, the response to lower birth rates has been to invest in free quality child care, long paid parental leaves, like a year off for each parent, or 18 months to be split between the parents, plus national health care, longer paid vacations, and lots of sick leave.

The answer here in the U.S.  has basically been to attack abortion and birth control. In a few states, we’ve won paid family leave provisions. A few cities have pre-K. I’m in New York City, and currently the Eric Adams administration is starving our pre-K system for funds.

Once we have that context, we can see that these standard debates about abortion and some of the small-scale nonprofit strategies don’t really  meet the moment. Of course there’s the losing strategy of just supporting Democrats, which has not been successful, but there’s also the strategy of isolating abortion as a single issue and acting as though it can be disconnected from struggles around class power.

In the case of abortion in the early 1970s, the ruling class was worried about high birth rates, which meant that we had some space to make this fight, and that space has since closed up. One advantage is that now it is clearly about our reproductive work.  If we see the fight over abortion and birth control as part of the general struggle of working people to rule our own lives, and, to that end, the struggle for public provision of all necessities, then we can start to fold it into some of the other battles that we’re having and see the connections.

In other words, our enemy on this question is not men, it’s capital.

This insight is related to another big question: Where is the abortion rights movement? We would expect something like sustained street action, like Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020, and we can’t understand why that’s not happening.

Well, first I question the assertion. There’s a ton of work happening, as people are talking about, and a lot of the work is around getting people abortions, which is by nature not all that public. So that’s one thing. However, I think Camila made an interesting point–that it is mostly defensive.

It’s good to look back to see that, first of all, we didn’t win abortion through an abortion rights movement. There was such a movement and it clunked along between 1955 and 1973, trying to get narrow exceptions to the abortion laws. It didn’t get anywhere until the women’s liberation movement burst forth.

People all over were risking their lives to get illegal abortions, which they had not seen as political until they did consciousness-raising and realized the paltry demands of the abortion rights movement would not have helped them at all. Then they started to demand full repeal of abortion laws. So we won legal abortion through a women’s liberation movement that had abortion as one of its demands. We can see, similarly, in Argentina, that it was one of the demands of a big movement that had a lot of different grievances.

We  have a  peculiar political  landscape in the U.S. where everything, no matter how interconnected, is taken up as an isolated single issue. This is partly because in the U.S. politics is done by a lot of competing nonprofits, descendants of charities designed to cool out protest. In addition, they have to carve out their area of expertise to compete with others to get funded.

In theory, in most places, you have all of your issues combined into a party. We have a party system in which the way to express our interests as a class just doesn’t work. We have no party that represents even our general majority interests, never mind our class interests. So we end up with no mechanism to vote on the things that are the most important in our lives. Instead of a movement, we’re left with this fragmented non-profitized clamoring of a hundred issues.

So it’s no surprise that among the million issues, abortion, having been extracted from its natural place as part of the fight for the control of our lives and our time, is a movement unto itself. Second, where there is still a shred of effective democratic action available to people, it’s getting narrower, although people joined in massive numbers to win referenda in Michigan, Kentucky, several of those states. The people’s power was really astonishing in Michigan. I remember talking to longtime feminist activists before they decided to launch the campaign. They were very trepidatious about the number of signatures needed and other obstacles, but they quickly overshot their signature goal to get it on the ballot.

An image of thousands of people arching down the national mall in Washington DC carrying signs and banners.
2017 Women’s March; photo by Ted Eytan.

The main problem, as with so many things we’re facing right now, is a lack of political levers to pull on the part of the majority. We have little or no control over the courts. The Senate is locked up by a minority that can stop anything they want. Protesting doesn’t seem to do much, but where there are tiny bits of democracy, people will run into the breach. For example, something that I’m involved in in Florida is a just-launched petition campaign to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to secure legal abortion. If we’re successful, that will be on the 2024 general election ballot.

We think that this has the potential to be a huge effort that can build grassroots power in Florida with potentially wide-reaching consequences because we are facing really repressive laws in Florida. We just had a six-week ban signed. It hasn’t gone into effect as it’s waiting for the Supreme Court. So those are a few ideas.

Nancy Welch: I want to start by taking us back to summer 2006, not a year after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ran this ad in upscale magazines such as Food and Wine.

A FEMA advertisement showing a family of two parents, four kids, and a dog. The people and dog are white. They stand in front of a white suburban house. Text reads, Everyone should have a plan. Take the first step. Talk to your family about what you would do in case of a terrorist attack or other emergency. There's no reason not to. To find out other things you can do to be prepared, visit There are thought bubbles above each character including the dog reading things like, walk home from school, wait for mom and dad; Pik up Hannah, Molly, and Zachary at school. . . . Grab chew toy, hop in back of minivan.
“Everyone should have a plan”; image courtesy of Nancy Welch.

“Everyone should have a plan,” the headline moralistically intones. The tagline adds, “There’s no reason not to.” When I first encountered this ad, I read it as a pitiful attempt by FEMA, which is housed by Homeland Security, to rehabilitate its reputation after having abandoned predominantly Black and Brown Gulf Coast residents in Katrina’s wake.

The ad, as I saw it, was part of the vast ideological apparatus that has long served the neoliberal evisceration of all social supports by scapegoating people who are poor, working class, queer, elderly, BIPOC, migrant, disabled, rural–anyone living outside this ad’s image of the self-reliant nuclear family, which as historian Stephanie Coontz documents, has largely existed only in American imagination. This ad, however, has continually returned to me over the years as something more than temporary cover for appalling neglect in a single instance of national emergency.

Today, I also read, “Everyone should have a plan” as the unveiled expression of the crisis of care that all forms of capitalism and neoliberal capital in particular engender–a crisis for which the capitalist class has no solution save offloading care work onto the family and low wage workers. This crisis also reaches beyond those whom this ad implicitly scapegoats. Decades of neoliberal assault on state programs and social provisioning have strained beyond breaking even those who may match some of the features of this American family image. white, cisgender, bread-winning dad and stay-at-home mom with a minivan and someplace to flee.

Consider that, just a few months after Katrina, Hurricane Rita exposed the vulnerability of anyone in the U.S. who can’t commandeer a private jet to escape a disaster zone. The flight of Houston residents from Rita’s path created what was then termed the world’s largest traffic jam as 2.5 million do-it-yourselfers jammed highways, many of them out of gas. This exodus resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people, including 24 dead when a nursing home bus caught fire.

From Katrina and Rita to the poison pipes of Flint, Michigan, the Western states’ wildfires, and the COVID-19 shortages of ICU beds and baby formula, the capitalist class faces an escalating existential crisis: how to ensure current and next generations of fit and ready workers without paying a profit-reducing dime for their reproduction. And for the working class, there is the escalating existential crisis of how to provide for ourselves with housing, transportation, education, health care, child care, and elder care.

This is the crisis of care we need to consider when we identify the drivers of the bans on abortion and on gender affirming health care. As Eric Maroney argues in a recent article for Tempest, we need to understand these attacks as part of the long running ruling-class offensive against social provisioning.

Understood through this lens, current attacks on abortion rights and LGBTQ Liberation are not cultural issues detached from capitalist crises at the points of production. These attacks are instead integral to the continuing ruling class program to grow wealth and to do so by leaving heavily gendered and racialized care work to the family and by surveilling and criminalizing bodies.

To ensure that some body or many bodies are carrying out the care work that capitalism does not want to pay for, but utterly depends upon and will go to great lengths to dictate and control, capitalism seeks, as it must, to impose social reproduction from above. Its necessary conditions for continuation and expansion include presenting as unassailable common sense that everyone should have a plan and there is no reason not to.

Our fight, then, is for social reproduction from below: the right to healthy, happy, and fully realized lives in systems of social support and environmental stewardship free from the imperatives of profit making. Powerfully articulating our side is the Black feminist framework of reproductive justice: Reproductive justice asserts the right to have children, the right not to have children, and the right to raise children and live in communities of safety and support.

Reproductive justice spotlights how abortion rights not only intersect with the struggles and demands for trans lives, Black lives, indigenous lives and Palestinian lives, but their inextricable braid across sites of struggle in workplaces and in communities: for full access to abortion and gender affirming healthcare; for clean water and safe housing; against the construction of Atlanta’s cop city and Israel settler-colonialist dispossession of Palestinians. We find shared struggles for social reproduction on our terms. I hope that in discussion we can explore the strategies a reproductive justice framework can illuminate.

Here I will sketch three directions. First, we obviously need to build and learn from existing networks of mutual aid to provide support that the state denies and to defend those whose bodies and lives the state would criminalize. Locally, for my abortion rights coalition, mutual aid has included working with New Hampshire’s Reproductive Freedom Fund to make Plan B emergency contraception available without charge and without question in bookstores, coffee houses, and taquerias. In six months, we have distributed more than 500 plan B doses just in the towns of Hanover and Lebanon. Importantly, we do this work as much as possible in full public light, both to deprivatize everyday needs for sexual and reproductive health care, and also to call out those who have failed to provide for those needs.

For example, on the campus of Wealthy Dartmouth College, in the Sunrise Movement, students distribute free plan B along with offering mutual aid support for food, housing, health care, and debt relief for working class students. In response to news story criticism that if it weren’t for the free plan B distributed through Sunrise, Dartmouth students would have to pay $15 a dose at the student health center, the administration has recently indicated it will now offer plan B at no charge.

Second, beyond mutual aid, we need to identify and insist upon the intersections of our struggles at the points of production and social reproduction, workplace and community, and to do so through that prism of reproductive justice.

Here are two local examples of what that can look like. At Dartmouth, undergraduate and graduate student workers, the majority of whom are working class, queer and BIPOC, have recently won labor union recognition with demands that include health and mental health leave, affordable and safe housing, and child care.

Also in New Hampshire, our reproductive fund supports abortion care for people, no matter their state or country of residence, and funds not only medical and surgical abortion, but also transportation, hotel, childcare, and lost hours from work. The fund additionally sponsors campaigns to support gender affirming healthcare and pretrial bail to reunite families.

A group of young people at a demonstration; one prominent sign reads, I will aid and abet abortion.
Photo by Ted Eytan.

Third, we should, when we can, work with politicians in national abortion rights organizations towards reproductive justice goals. In Vermont, this includes a campaign to win a constitutional amendment and shield law, and in New Hampshire, to defeat a bill targeting transgender teens. But we must also build organizations that can work independently to picket anti-abortion centers, to defend clinics, and to defend drag story hours.

Even if the NGOs and Democratic party players refrain from participation or even oppose these actions, what we need above all is to transform the victories and lessons of our local and regional initiatives into an organized force to create the kind of constitutional crisis that Camilla just described in Argentina.

This is not an impossible order given the crisis of care that the U.S. capitalist class is seeking, through desperate and repressive means, to manage. And given that in conditions of COVID emergency, the U.S. government authorized so much direct aid that the New York Times reported the poverty rate was temporarily cut in half.

Now, as we face bans on our bodies and minds and also the cruel end to pandemic housing, food, and Medicaid programs, we need, wherever we are organizing, to join this call: We produce, we demand, we teach, we nurse, we nurture, we love, and we require.

Featured Image Credit: Ted Eytan via Flikr; modified by Tempest.

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