by Helen Pattison, London Socialist Party secretary
Everyone that Socialist Party members spoke to on the demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 17 June, was furious.
They were furious that a woman who had sought abortion healthcare was now in prison. They were furious that the same police and justice system which has been outed as systemically sexist and racist acted with impunity against a vulnerable woman.
And they were furious at this rotten Tory government. The Tories have overseen huge attacks to our living standards.
And now this weak and divided government is trying to prevent discussion on a women’s right to choose when and whether to have children.
Socialist Party members on the protest were clear. The campaign to defend the right to choose needs to be linked to the fight to kick out the Tories, and fully fund the NHS and other services.
It has to be linked to the fight to pull women and their families out of poverty, and ensure timely access to the services they need. This isn’t on offer from the Labour Party either though.
Labour MP Stella Creasy spoke on the platform about the need to defend rights. But she herself lined up with the right wing of the Labour Party to oust Jeremy Corbyn, despite the fact Corbyn’s 2019 manifesto included decriminalising abortion.
While Creasy opposed Corbyn, she’s backed other Labour leaders, like Keir Starmer, and their promises to carry on with Tory austerity.
And she supports her local Labour council in Waltham Forest implementing Tory cuts. She also supported the bombing of Syria.
Creasy supports abortion rights. But, she doesn’t fight for policies that will give women a real right to choose the kind of family they want — such as free childcare, council homes and fully funded healthcare.
- See also: Labour caves in on childcare pledge.