Schneiderman speaks out for reproductive justice at NARAL Pro-Choice America

Schneiderman Highlights Need For Loud, Strong Movement For Equality And Justice: “It’s Time We Got Outraged At The Male Supremacists In Power In Washington And All Across America.”

Schneiderman: Those Who Would Deny A Woman’s Reproductive Rights Do So In Order To Oppress And Disempower Women. Denying Women Access To Contraception And Abortion Services Is Part Of The Larger Machinery Of Oppression Discrimination And Violence Against Women – A Machinery We Now Have The Opportunity To Call Out And Take Down.

New Yok State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman spoke to more than 700 women’s rights activists at a NARAL Pro-Choice America event yesterday to highlight the need for a loud, strong movement for equality and justice in America.

In his remarks, Schneiderman connected his observations while working in an abortion clinic as a teenager in the year before Roe v. Wade to the ongoing efforts by anti-choice legislators to oppress and stigmatize women.

On his work at an abortion clinic as a teenager:

“When I was 17, I graduated from high school — but I didn’t go straight to college. Instead, I went to work at an abortion clinic in Washington, DC – the year before Roe v. Wade.

“Many [of the patients] had left home without telling their friends, their parents, their partners. Almost all were terrified of someone finding out what they were doing and virtually every one of those women flew into Washington alone.

“At the age of 17, it was clear to me that these women were fleeing oppression. I learned a critical lesson: If a woman does not have the right to control her own body, she is not truly equal. If a woman does not have the right to control her own body she is not truly free.”

On the role of “male supremacy” in driving anti-choice legislation:

“Those who would deny a woman’s reproductive rights seek to do so in order to oppress and disempower women. Denying women access to contraception and abortion services is a critical part of the larger machinery of oppression discrimination and violence against women – a machinery we now have the opportunity to call out and take down.

“But to do so we need to re-imagine the pro-choice movement and build a stronger louder movement for women’s freedom and equality than we have ever seen. Much has been written about how we need to call out the white supremacists in power in Washington. Well it is time we got the same level of outrage at the male supremacists in power in Washington and all across America.”

On the need for a broad movement for equality and justice:

“Movements are all about transformational politics, seeking to change public consciousness over time until what was once impossible becomes possible. Movement politics is not the politics of accommodation. It is the politics of perseverance.

Oppression is oppression — and male supremacists always fear the voices of women. We need to build a movement for true equality and freedom for women a movement against male supremacy in all its forms and manifestations. And we need to build this movement from the ground up focusing on state as well as federal action.”

Schneiderman’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available here.

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