This campaign season has seen the rise of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who describes himself as a socialist. While Sanders is running for the nomination of the Democratic party, it raises the question about how socialist groups view abortion and the right to life.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) describe themselves as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.” The website has a section on #WeNeedBernie, which is also listed under their “Current Campaigns.” While “abortion” is not mentioned in the organization’s updated founding document, written over 1990-1995, “women” are mentioned several times in a pro-abortion context. For instance, with added emphasis:
We are committed to full equality for women in all spheres of life, in a world without prescribed sex roles that channel women into subordinate positions at home and at work. We seek a world that no longer oppresses women through undervaluation of their work, lack of political representation, the inability to control their own fertility, denial of their sexuality, or violence and abuse.
One of the group’s “Fact Sheets” includes a piece on “Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights,” which is a pro-abortion and politicizing page, one which categorizes pro-lifers as “the Right” and accuses the United States – which has some of the most relaxed abortion laws in the world – of being “so backward.”
The Socialist Party USA, another self-described “democratic socialist organization,” is pro-abortion, with the party’s platform listing abortion several times (emphasis added):
• We demand full support for every woman’s right to choose when, if, and how to have children, including the right to free abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy, without interference or coercion. Clinics providing abortion services must have the full protection of the law.
• We call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and all other legislation that limits access to abortion services, thus denying “the right to choose” to millions of women, particularly low-income women, women of color, and young women. We demand full reproductive freedom for all women by removing all discriminating barriers to reproductive rights and reproductive health care.
• We call for the abolition of parent consent and notification laws for reproductive health services, including abortion.
• We call for the right to comprehensive sex education in school that includes birth control methods, STD protection, and information about being GLBTQ.
SocialistWorker.org, published by the International Socialist Organization (ISO), put out a pro-abortion piece on this year’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade, calling for an end to “compromises on abortion.” The ISO considers any restrictions on abortion to be a form of “women’s oppression,” calling them “attacks on contraception and abortion.” Pro-life views regarding preborn children are “ridiculous ideals” to these Democratic Socialists.
Indeed, Sanders agrees with these views, as Live Action’s Calvin Freiburger reported previously:
On his campaign website, Sanders makes a number of radical pro-abortion promises: that his every judicial nominee would not only uphold Roe v. Wade, but also “recognize the rights of women to have access to family planning services”—i.e., the courts would force private employers to cover potentially abortion-inducing drugs—and that he would force the American people to give even more of their tax dollars to abortion, Planned Parenthood, and abortifacient birth control, by “expand[ing], not cut[ting], funding for Planned Parenthood, the Title X family planning program, and other initiatives that protect women’s health, access to contraception, and the availability of a safe and legal abortion.”