By STEPHEN LANE
We have a lot of health disparities in the Black community. One such disparity is the mortality rate of Black women during childbirth. This number is strikingly high, so high that it is not hard to see the issue not as an individual failing of Black women, yet a failing in our for-profit health care system.
In 2020, In Indiana Black women were twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related issues as white women in Indiana. We see that health disparities can’t be fully addressed nor rectified under a for-profit health care system because the focus is taken off of health care and moved over to profit. If you talk to many health care professionals on the frontlines, you will find that they are under-resourced and understaffed as a capitalist health care system seeks to continue to cut costs to provide the bare minimum of service while reaping a huge profit going to very few individuals such as the CEOs of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. The system is working as it was designed to work at our expense.
Over the summer, we saw how nine unelected and unaccountable to the people Supreme Court judges snatched away women’s right to safe and legal abortions. It is not my place to say nor judge any woman seeking an abortion. I am not a woman, so I do not understand all of the contributing factors that a woman must make in order to come to the decision to have an abortion. All I can do as a man is stand in support of women, especially Black women, to health care that they need while also advocating that the standard of care increase for Black women going to seek medical care.
Indiana has performed less than 10,000 abortions since 2011 and had 79,058 live births in 2020. I support working class women’s want and need to keep this service around. We don’t quite know the true intention of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Yet, I do understand that if we want to keep our access to safe and legal abortion, then we have to unite our forces and apply pressure to those in charge to maintain safe and legal abortion access in Indiana.
Indiana was one of the first states to enact an abortion ban that not even a majority of Republican voters want. Most Americans stand in support of abortion access. It is a small group of conservative right wing political puppets of the capitalist class that wants to act with such cruelty to limit the rights of working-class people which includes many Black women.
What I advocate for is our participation in the political process. We cannot sit passively by while more of our health care rights and access deteriorates. If this was truly a democracy for and by the people, then we shouldn’t have to defend our access to abortion, which should have been settled once and for all 50 years ago. If this were a true democracy, then we should be expanding our access to health care. Yet, as many of you know and suspect, this is no democracy! We live in a world controlled by the turbulent whims of a tiny minority of white supremacists and those who look like us willing to follow a white supremacist agenda to limit our democratic and health care rights.
We must fight because historically we see that when we fight that we do win. Roe v. Wade was passed during a turbulent time in our country. People around the country believed that systemic change was possible and can be achieved through intensified struggle.
We invite everyone to join the Party for Socialism and Liberation on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at Monument Circle to exercise our right of free speech to let these politicians know that we want access to safe and legal abortion, and they will not take our rights away without a fierce fight! Our politicians shouldn’t be afraid of the will of the people and should support a public referendum on abortion access. Let the people vote like they did in Kansas.
My bet is that the politicians won’t be amenable to the idea of a referendum that we all get to vote on because Lord forbid the people have a say in our political process. We must learn the lessons of history that if we aren’t watching these politicians then they will continue to do the bidding of the elite capitalists at our expense. More of our rights will be stripped away. Yet, when we unify our forces as a diverse working class who need our access to abortion care for working class women and an expansion of our health care out of a for-profit system into a public system in the hands and under the control of the people. Let’s fight like hell because we can win our rights once and for all!
Stephen Lane is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.