|Tommy O'Riordan / Jacobin|
A decent piece, "Bob Crow in Rojava: Who are the British volunteers fighting with the Kurdish YPG in Rojava?," published by Jacobin at the end of February points out that abortion is legal in Rojava since the revolution. Hopefully this news doesn't find its way to the Pentecostal crackers who constitute a sizable chunk of Trump's domestic base:
Perhaps more importantly, brigade members have established political connections between Kurdish and European activists. On September 7, 2016, they tweeted an image of two armed guerrillas wearing balaclavas and raising their left fists. Beneath them, a scrap of cardboard read: “Ni Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan [there is no freedom without the liberation of women]: repeal the Eighth.”
“The Eighth” refers to the Irish constitution’s eighth amendment, which outlaws abortion in Ireland and restricts access to information about having an abortion in England (similar restrictions also exist in Northern Ireland). The tweet must be put in the context of the international mobilization against Ireland’s anti-abortion laws, culminating in simultaneous demonstrations on September 24 in various European cities.
Karker Bakur explains the story behind the tweet:
Our women comrades in the IFB [International Freedom Battalion] asked us about the women’s movement in our countries, and we said the most heroic thing right now was the women in Ireland buying abortion pills and then turning themselves in. They were really interested in this.
After the Kurds entered the war with the Mount Sinjar Rescue, the YPJ [Women’s Protection Units] spoke to thousands of Yezidi women from ISIS who had been raped as sex slaves or as “wives” awarded to the jihadis from abroad. From that point on it became clear that ISIS’s systematic rapes were partly to leave behind future ISIS recruits, children who would be potential outcasts.
The Rojava women’s movement launched a campaign for European supporters to send abortion pills to help rescued women, and, furthermore, abortion is a completely legal process in Rojava since the revolution. So when our female comrades heard this wasn’t the case in Ireland, they asked how to show support.