Opinion

Brett Kavanaugh puts our personal choice rights at risk

Kavanaugh's past actions and statements on a woman's right to choose make some nervous about women's bodily autonomy.

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Hundreds of miles from Madison, in the nation’s capital, a small group of rich white men is once again threatening our most basic human rights.

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was being pushed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely came forward to announce that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her when she was just 15 years old.

Since then, multiple women have come forward with similar stories about Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.As a community, Madison residents, students and workers cannot allow Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be seen through. We cannot trust Brett Kavanaugh to respect the bodies of individual women in his personal life; how, then, can we trust him to adjudicate justly on women’s bodily autonomy?

Once again, the fate of millions of people — primarily the most marginalized — rests squarely in the hands of one rich white man, personally selected by second rich white man, confirmed by a jury of mostly rich white men.

I understand the impulse to disassociate with this catastrophe. As wealthy capitalists sit in an ornate room choosing, decidedly undemocratically, whether a serial sexual assailant should serve in one of the most critical governmental positions, workers in Madison may feel understandably disconnected and powerless.

I also understand, as you search for an outlet for your frustration, the impulse to channel your progressive energy into the pocketbooks of Democratic candidates. This strategy does not work. It has not worked, as Democrats have repeatedly pivoted away from reproductive rights once elected and have continuously supported and voted for the Hyde Amendment, banning federal funding for abortion access.

Sometimes, you might feel alone in this fight. But you are not. There are allies everywhere in the fight for reproductive justice. Pro-choice activists are on campus and they are organizing tirelessly. On Saturday, Madison’s branch of the International Socialist Organization hosted a speakout on Library Mall in protest of Kavanaugh’s nomination, in support of abortion rights and access, and in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault everywhere.

This Thursday, the ISO is hosting a meeting to discuss “#MeToo and the Supreme Court” in order to effectively mobilize the Madison community to fight for women’s bodily autonomy. It will be in room L196 of the Education Building at 7 p.m.

If you are pro-choice, the ISO is your ally in this fight. This struggle is not without enemies, however. When ISO members posted flyers for the meeting and speakout last week, they were shadowed by right wingers, and the flyers were ripped down. When members chalked event information outside of Memorial Union, it was washed away, twice by individuals and, finally, a third time by Union employees. At the speakout, a man spent several minutes shouting “murder” at pro-choice activists.

Anti-choice activists travel to clinics that provide abortions and effectively shut them down, harassing doctors and clients alike. These actions destroy countless lives every year.

The right has been organized and organizing around fighting against reproductive rights for quite some time. They have mobilized a grassroots base that moves swiftly and as one. It’s time for the pro-choice movement to do the same.

We must build a mass movement for the right to choose, and it must start locally. Join the ISO and other campus groups this Saturday at noon on Library Mall to add your voice to the growing movement to defend abortion access and stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault.

Stand with us, share your stories, share your ideas. The larger our pro-choice network grows, the more effective it will be. And the more effective we are, the more lives we can save.

The International Socialist Organization is a Madison-based political group. Send all comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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