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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No. 10. May 22, 1974

Where's the abortion

Where's the abortion

Dear Roger,

I am starting to get rather tired of all these letter etc you are always getting from the Trotsky-ist abortionists. Key Goodger end Jacqueline McCluggage. Despite their association with the "Socialist" Action League, the policies that they propoee for the women's movement, with primary emphasis being placed on the abortion issue can only be described as anti-Socialist and anti-Marxist.

Let me illustrate with a reference to Kay Goodger's letter in your May 1 Issue. She attacks the Catholic Church as being a pillar of sypport for the establishment. I will admit that this may be true in a country like Spain or Portugal, but It is hardly true of the world as a whole. All through Latin America, the Catholic Church is probably one of the mam progressive movements for social change. In New Zealand, the Catholic Church is probably the strongest church among the working classes. Vet because of one small point of difference, the abortion issue, these Trotakyists persist in trying to split a large group of exploted working-class women from the women's liberation movement. A better approach that a Marxist might adopt is to unite with these women, temporarily ignoring the differences until problems of women's rights-in other spheres have been resolved. I would recommend a reading of Lenin's pamphlet "Two tactics of social democracy in the democratic revolution".

I could, at this stage, proceed to a discussion of the problem that is frequently raised: that of the direction to be adopted by the women's movement once abortion is legalised. However I suspect that they would be wasted words. In the meantime. I suggest that the Trotsky-ist's support for what is primarily a movement among middle-class women for abortions is anti-working class, because of its paternalistic approach to working class women. Because the orientation given to the women's emphasizes religious divisions rather than class divisions, the approach is un-Marxist. In their emphasis on abortion, they imagine the Catholic Church to be a single unitary entity, and are hence undialectical. And finally, because these Trotskyist women are advocating reformist policies, they are showing themselves to be anti-socialist.

I am now awaiting the usual attempts at character assassination, because I am a male writing on the subject of abortion — but I support abortion. I also expect to be attacked as un-Marxist in my support for the Catholic Church, although I am an atheist. It is merely because I do not subscribe to any inane ultra-leftist line such as that which follows from the Trotakyist theory of Permanent Revolution.

David Tripe