Friday’s rally and march for abortion rights in New York City was co-sponsored by over 50 activist, left and union groups. Due to the heat and restraints around sound equipment, even the small group of speakers slated to speak were not able to. Here we publish the speech by a public school teacher in the Movement of Rank and File Educators that she would have given at the rally.
I am a public school teacher part of the Movement for Rank and File Educators, the Social Justice caucus within the United Federation of Teachers. First thing first, abortion IS health care!
When I was joining the teacher union I was told over and over again by UFT leadership that we had the best health care in the city. So much so, that the other city unions are jealous! So you can imagine my surprise when I was hounded by debt collectors to pay $800 for my abortion. I joined the 1 in 10 Americans with medical debt.
While NY will remain a pro-choice state, we must push our congress to pass the New York Health Act so that abortion is truly accessible to all New Yorkers regardless of income or access to health care. We know this decision is disproportionately going to harm Black people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities, undocumented people and the poor and working class.
Now more than ever, abortion must be codified into law, guaranteed as a right regardless of one’s financial or employment status. We need a united front to fight the profit-driven health care system that relies on sickness to sustain itself and the fascist control of people’s reproductive rights.
All power to the people!