Women: Labor Pains
Reproductive rights and abortion are under sustained political attack. Texas, Mississippi and other states have passed highly restrictive laws limiting and, in some cases, eliminating access to abortion. In all, nearly 600 anti-abortion laws have been introduced. The Supreme Court, with its three Trump-appointed justices, seems poised to decimate if not overturn the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion. In 2018, even before the pandemic, the birth rate in the United States reached its lowest level in decades. The pandemic has further reduced childbirths. Feminist activists assert that declining birth rates represent a work slowdown, or strike, in the face of the poor conditions for those who do the work of bearing and raising children. For millions of overworked and exhausted women, the financial burden is significant. They must be compensated.
Recorded at the University of California.
Jenny Brown is a National Women’s Liberation organizer and former editor of Labor Notes. She was a leader in the grassroots campaign to make morning-after pill contraception available over the counter and was a plaintiff in the winning lawsuit. Her articles appear in Jacobin, Alternet and other publications. She is the author of Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now and Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work.