NYC for Abortion Rights stands in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle—knowing that bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom are bound together with land sovereignty, self-determination, and an end to settler-colonial occupations and apartheid regimes everywhere.
As of October 24, at least 5,791 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in the span of just two weeks, including over 2,300 children. The Israeli state ordered over one million Palestinians in northern Gaza to leave their homes on October 13, a number even larger than those displaced during the Nakba, all while bombing the roads and striking convoys en route to southern Gaza. Israel is denying deliveries of electricity, food, fuel, medicine, and other life-saving supplies to Gaza, utilizing the permanent blockades that Israel erected first in 2007 to place Palestinians at risk of starvation. We are outraged as 50,000 pregnant Palestinians in Gaza attempt to survive in these conditions without access to medical care, all while hospitals and aide envoys are attacked. We demand a ceasefire now and immediate humanitarian aid to Gaza. Further, we call for the dismantling of the occupation.
Even before the current genocide that is now underway, conditions for pregnant people in Palestine were made inhumane by the Israeli state. From 2000 to 2006, for example, 69 Palestinian pregnant women were forced to give birth at Israeli checkpoints. As a result of checkpoints, 16 percent of pregnant women who wished to give birth in a hospital were delayed for more than two hours before reaching health facilities; 35 newborn babies died at checkpoints; and 5 women lost their lives while giving birth. In addition, 6 pregnant women were beaten, shot, and attacked with toxic gas by Israeli soldiers.
As we watch the most recent horrors with grief and anger, we remember that what is happening now is continuous with the violence that Palestinians have faced since the Nakba of 1948, when hundreds of Palestinian towns were destroyed, 800,000 Palestinians were displaced, and 15,000 Palestinians were killed. Even now, “Palestinian people continue to teach life,” as Noura Erakat writes. Children celebrate birthdays amid the carnage and incessant bombs; a young girl salvages her makeup from the rubble after an airstrike hit her home and applies powder to a family member’s cheeks. We are in unequivocal solidarity with Palestinians’ long resistance against zionist settler colonialism—“resistance…driven by a love for one’s people, a love for one’s homeland, and a love for life and freedom,” to quote the Palestinian Youth Movement.
The U.S. government is fully complicit in funding the genocide of Palestinians in decades of land theft and ethnic cleansing. On Friday, Joe Biden requested $14 billion to fund Israel’s war crimes. Since 1948, the U.S. imperialist state has provided more military financing to Israel than to any other country in the world. Today, most of this U.S. financing of Israel is in the form of weapons grants. The Israeli jets bombing Gaza right now are U.S.-made. It is vile that while the United States claims there is never any money for services that benefit human life, there is always money for violence, carcerality, and upholding colonialism here and abroad. We demand that the U.S. government cease military trade with Israel and all funding to it, in accordance with Palestinian trade unions demands.
Here in New York City, the ever-increasingly unhinged Copmayor Eric Adams spoke at a rally entitled “New York Stands with Israel.” He does not speak, however, for the millions of anti-zionist New Yorkers. And lest we forget that the NYPD, with its $11 billion budget, sources training and technologies from the Israeli “Defense” Forces (IDF). The NYPD’s violent Strategic Response Group, for instance, replicates tactics from the IDF playbook, and utilizes technologies, such as drones, sound cannons, and intelligence software created by Israeli companies. They have used these technologies and tactics at pro-abortion marches, rallies, and at our own clinic defenses. The NYPD and IDF are both rooted in the violent oppression of dissent and the protection of colonial property—one cannot be anti-cop and pro-Israel. We demand an end to the “deadly exchange.”
Reproductive justice means free Palestine. Not only are Israel’s genocidal tactics, financed by the United States, utterly incompatible with reproductive justice; our liberation is bound together. From Flint to Palestine, there is no reproductive justice, no autonomy, no “my body, my choice,” without clean water, without safe and sustainable communities, without access to healthcare and the basic dignity to live, and without an end to policing and war. We call on New Yorkers and the reproductive justice movement at large to stand with the people of Palestine. Join your local pro-Palestine protests. Contribute funds to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Amplify the voices and demands of the people of Gaza. Honor the boycotts. Take action againt complicit companies. Commit to learning and organizing. Until all of us are free.