Jenny Brown, Abortion is our Right to Strike, Jacobin, August 18, 2019.
Abortion isn’t a “cultural” issue. The production of children, and who will pay for it, is a key economic battlefront. For decades, we’ve been told that abortion is merely a wedge issue used by Republicans to split working-class Catholics from the Democratic Party and excite a Protestant evangelical base. “Starting in the 1970s,” feminist law professor Joan C. Williams writes, “Republicans have offered support for working-class anti-abortion views in exchange for working-class support for pro-business positions.” According to this view, politicians and the one percent really don’t care one way or the other about abortion — they’re just using the issue to get votes. This reading of US politics is so common that if you ask a group of feminists today why abortion is under attack, someone will explain that it is a political ploy to capture the support of conservative “values” voters. Thomas Frank even argues that banning abortion would be against the interests of these political forces because they would lose an issue to mobilize around. But this explanation has frayed as abortion restrictions have proliferated, with several states now down to one abortion clinic and repressive regulations making abortion difficult to obtain for many and impossible for some. Even “blue” states like Minnesota throw up obstacles to those who want abortions. Several states have banned abortion outright, racing to be the one whose law overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized most abortions. Birth control, too, has come under attack, revealing that the stated goal of reducing abortions is a ruse. Read more at Jacobin.
Jenny Brown, “Rational Actors,” Jacobin Magazine, Summer 2018. White, black, and Latina, immigrant and native born, US women are having fewer children — by some measures, the birth rate is the lowest it has ever been. In the United States, the costs and work of childbearing and child-rearing are pushed onto parents, women in particular, while employers increasingly avoid contributing anything to the raising of their future workforce. Other countries have responded to plunging birth rates by providing free childcare, paid family leave for both parents, and shorter work hours. But here in the United States, we face a cheaper, meaner strategy to prop up the birth rate: make it harder to get abortions and birth control. The result is that one in four of our births is unintended, roughly twice the rate in countries with robust reproductive rights. Read more at Jacobin. Subscribe!
Jenny Brown and Erin Mahoney, “Not Working for Trump,” Jacobin, January 11, 2017. “The incoming administration is promising to cut, undermine, privatize, or eliminate every social contract from public schools to Medicare to Social Security. They expect the ‘family’ (by which they mean women) to fill in the gaps and pick up the pieces. No we won’t. This strike is a warning. Our work can no longer be taken for granted.” Complete article here
Jenny Brown and Erin Mahoney, “Abortion Without Apology,” Jacobin, December 31, 2015. “The radical women’s liberation activists who first won legal abortion wanted to get rid of abortion laws entirely — a flier proposing the “model law” showed a blank page. It was this demand, backed by disruptive tactics, public truth-telling about criminal abortions, and class-action lawsuits aimed at invalidating existing statutes that got the ball rolling nationally.” Complete article here.
Jenny Brown, “Servers, Not Servants,”Labor Notes, January 30, 2015. “Managers tend to side with the customers when workers complain. “I said to myself, I can’t be putting up with this, let me talk to my boss about it,” said another server harassed on the job. “I was kind of surprised by what my boss said… ‘Well, those people pay a lot of money for our services and, I mean, would it hurt to smile a little bit, be a little bit more friendly to them?’ And I was blown away.” Complete article here.
Jenny Brown, “Women Sue Ford over Sexual Harassment,” Labor Notes, February 2015.
Jenny Brown, “Much Improved But Unremarked, NYC Sick Leave Takes Effect,” Labor Notes, July 30, 2014.
Jenny Brown and Stephanie Seguin, “How We Won the Fight on the Morning After Pill,” Huffington Post, April 22, 2013.
Jenny Brown, “Fashion Models Shatter Stereotypes, Demand Labor Rights,” Labor Notes, March 8, 2013.
Jenny Brown, “‘Health Care for America Now’: Which Side Are They On?,” Monthly Review Online, July 10, 2008.