rebecca traister, 2019: "our fury over abortion was dismissed for decades as hysterical"

Rebecca Traister, writing in New York magazine in 2019:

Which is why I am almost as mad at many on the left, theoretically on the side of reproductive rights and justice, who have refused, somehow, to see this coming or act aggressively to forestall it. I have no small amount of rage stored for those in the Democratic Party who have relied on the engaged fury of voters committed to reproductive autonomy to elect them, at the same time that they have treated the efforts of activists trying to stave off this future as inconvenient irritants. 
This includes, of course, the Democrats (notably Joe Biden) who long supported the Hyde Amendment, the legislative rider that has barred the use of federal insurance programs from paying for abortion, making reproductive health care inaccessible to poor women since 1976. During health-care reform, Barack Obama referred to Hyde as a “tradition” and questions of abortion access as “a distraction.” I’ve spent my life listening to Democrats call abortion a niche issue — and worse, one that is somehow repellent to voters, even though support for Roe is in fact among the most broadly popular positions of the Democratic Party; seven in ten Americans want abortion to remain legal, even in conservative states.
You can try to tell these Democrats this — lots of people have been trying to tell them for a while now — but it won’t matter; they will only explain to you (a furious person) that they (calm, wise, knowledgeable about politics) understand that we need a big tent and can’t have a litmus test and please be reasonable: we shouldn’t shut anyone out because of a difference on one issue. (That one issue that we shouldn’t shut people out because of is always abortion). Every single time Democrats come up with a new strategy to win purple and red areas, it is the same strategy: hey, let’s jettison abortion! (If you object to this, you will be told you are standing in the way of the greater progressive project). . . .
Also about how, for years, I’ve listened to Democratic politicians distance themselves from abortion by calling it tragic and insisting it should be rare, instead of simply acknowledging it to be a crucial, legal cornerstone of comprehensive health care for women, people with uteruses, and their families. I have seethed as generations of Democrats have argued that if we could just get past abortion and focus instead on economic issues, we’d be better off. They never seem to get that abortion is an economic issue, and that what they think of as economic issues — from wages and health care to housing and education policy — are at the very heart of the reproductive justice movement, which understands access to abortion to be one (pivotal!) part of a far broader set of circumstances that determine if, when, under what circumstances, and with what resources human beings might have and raise children.
Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

allan said...

A political party does not ignore a persistent and growing problem for 40 years by accident. That is a simple fact. The Democrats are equally complicit in the dissolution of Roe as the Republicans.

One of the many Trump memes out there says: "Once you realize he's working for Russia, not America, everything he does makes sense." Well, once you realize the Democrats and Republicans are working together, for the same team, everything they do (or do not do) makes sense."

Their inability to fight back, their incompetence and tepid response when they do raise objections, their inability to put out a consistent message. The Democrats are not stupid. Some of the party's leaders have been in office for decades (Schumer and Pelosi, for example) and you don't win that many consecutive elections by being a clueless idiot. Once you accept that they don't stand up for themselves (or for you) because they don't want to fight back, that they are part of the US's one-party state, all their actions suddenly become logical.