Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blames men, not fascist Republicans for Texas abortion ban, covering up Democrats’ inaction
On Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, congressman from New York and member of the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), appeared on CNN’s “AC360” show with Anderson Cooper. One of the topics of discussion was the recent Texas abortion ban, which the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect on September 1.
New Texas state law enforces the so-called “fetal heart rate” rule, which effectively prohibits abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know they have become pregnant. The law also allows anyone to take legal action against anyone who “helps or encourages” an abortion, with the promise of a reward of $ 10,000 if the lawsuit continues.
The ban is a savage attack on democratic rights that openly challenges the 1973 Roe vs. Wade United States Supreme Court ruling that a woman’s choice to have an abortion was constitutionally protected.
During the CNN show on Tuesday, Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez to respond to recent comments from Republican Governor Greg Abbott. In the clip played by Cooper, Abbott vowed to “wipe out all rapists in the state of Texas” so that no woman needs an abortion due to rape.
Asked about her reaction, Ocasio-Cortez said she found the governor’s remarks “disgusting” and regretted having to “break down Biology 101 on national television.” Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that “six weeks pregnant… for anyone with a menstrual cycle” meant being “two weeks late”. So, she added, “you don’t have six weeks.”
The MP spent the remaining part of the segment obscuring or burying the central political issue involved in the abortion ban and generally adapting to the needs of the Democratic Party establishment.
Ocasio-Cortez focused his remarks on painting the issue exclusively in terms of gender, accusing “cisgender men” of attacking abortion rights. The MP made an approving reference to the #MeToo movement and focused the discussion on “rape culture and misogynist culture”.
“What it’s about,” she noted, “is controlling women’s bodies … it’s about making sure that someone like me as a woman or anyone menstruating cannot make decisions about their own body. “
The MP argued that “sexual assault is about the abuse of power and sexual assault is about asserting control over another person. And the ease with which these men try to do this to others is excruciating. It’s morally wrong, and they can’t even begin to understand the agonizing decisions people have to make, including miscarriage, rape, and incest.
A number of points must be made about Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks.
First, the most important aspect of Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance is the series of political issues she has managed to avoid. Nowhere in the segment did the MP refer to Roe vs. Wade. Nothing has been said about the reactionary role of the Supreme Court in denying an injunction against the Texas ban and the political implications of this unprecedented attack on democratic rights. In fact, the phrase “democratic rights” has never escaped the hon. Member’s mouth. No reference was made to the increasingly fascist character of the Republican Party.
In line with the official Democratic Party line, Ocasio-Cortez did not call on Congress to pass legislation to codify Roe vs. Wade, which would require overriding an obstruction of the Senate. Too many Senate Democrats are supporting filibuster or opposing the right to abortion to make this possible. She made no criticism of the Democratic Party’s inaction and, of course, no mention of the Democrats’ decades-long withdrawal from abortion and other basic rights.
The considerable amount of time Ocasio-Cortez has spent discussing rape abortions is particularly remarkable given that less than one percent of women have abortions due to sexual assault. This in itself was a political concession to the public order frenzy of the far right, framing abortion entirely in the context of a violent crime. She did not say anything about the rights of the vast majority of women who choose to have an abortion because of health concerns, economic problems or simply because they do not want or are not yet ready to have children. .
It should also be noted that Texas law does not have an equal impact on “all women” or “all menstruating people,” as Ocasio-Cortez suggests. Any well-off woman who wishes to have an abortion will be able to get one relatively easily at the right price or by traveling to another state.
Ocasio-Cortez’s focus on sexual assault and gender issues is a calculated political decision. The leadership of the Democratic Party is aware that the right to abortion is an explosive issue that enjoys support among broad sections of the population. The far-right Texas move comes against the backdrop of a sharp shift in sections of the Republican Party towards more direct authoritarian forms of government, which took place just months after a coup attempt in Washington.
Ocasio-Cortez made a number of harsh remarks to Abbott, no doubt a loathsome figure, but said nothing about the fascist political elements he speaks for. The last thing the leadership of the Democratic Party wants is for the real political and democratic content of the issue to come to the fore. Exposing the political forces involved in this campaign would reveal the lie that threats to Trump’s rise to power, i.e. fascism and dictatorship, disappeared when he left office. Democrats, as members of the ruling elite, are far more afraid of the public being alerted to the dangers and mobilizing than they are of Abbott’s right-wing conspiracies.
All of the conditions that gave birth to Trump and his Jan.6 coup attempt persist in American society. The campaign to destroy the right to abortion, with the complicity of the Supreme Court, should be a serious warning: no democratic right, no matter how basic, is safe in capitalist America.
To cover “left” their cowardice and their complicity, the Democrats rely on personalities like Ocasio-Cortez. The strategy is to limit the discussion to gender, create as much confusion as possible, and hide the burning questions from the class. This has been the core content of the Democratic Party’s campaign on “women’s issues” for years.
The quiet response to the Texas abortion ban by the #MeToo campaign’s most ardent promoters makes this clear.
At the height of the #MeToo movement, enormous resources were spent removing men from positions in government, media and cultural life on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. For months, major newspapers and magazines covered every claim in great detail. At one point, the New York Times published a two-page page exulting in the downfall of the various men targeted in the witch-hunt for sexual misconduct.
Where are all these women’s rights activists now? Where is the saturation coverage in the Times identify the main political figures at the head of the reactionary campaign against the right to abortion and set out its objectives?
Only a small fraction of the time and money put into the four-year #MeToo effort is allocated to tackling the vicious Texas ban and maintaining Roe vs. Wade. In fact, the upper-middle-class women – business executives, media figures, academics, Hollywood actors – who have loudly and enthusiastically supported every slander against “powerful men” – that is, their people. rivals for positions and income, responded to Abbott’s law with a blatant collective yawn. The conditions and sufferings of the working class and younger women do not arouse their interest at all.
As for the Democratic Party, the subjugation of its “left” spokesperson Ocasio-Cortez to the political establishment on this issue starkly reveals that this corporate-controlled party is incapable of offering serious resistance to the political parties. increasing attacks on the Democratic Party. democratic rights of the working class. On the contrary, they are complicit in such attacks.
The fight to defend abortion rights, and all democratic rights, is an existential fight for the working class. It requires an all-out and determined struggle. However, not a single step forward can be taken without breaking with the two capitalist parties. The working class must be organized independently, in a struggle against the Democratic Party and bipartisanship, on the basis of a revolutionary socialist perspective.