Even the littlest Sudanese wants democracy. Since children are the most frequent victims of war, occupation, & genocide & often the primary targets, it is fitting that they learn early to stand against tyranny.

I am aware that many of my friends & most of my family have religious objections to abortion. Coming from the Catholic tradition where even birth control is considered evil, I am not insensitive to those scruples though I do not share them. I am committed to the right of women to control our reproductive lives as fundamental to our freedom.

My mother had 22 pregnancies. It cannot be said she enjoyed most of them. She would be depressed & flat on her back for most of the nine months & once described her years of constant pregnancy as feeling “blanked out.” Her last pregnancy, when I was in high school, was a miscarriage. I was home alone with her at the time & she called me in to baptize the fetus & share the moment with her. It was a very powerful moment for me while we both marveled at the mystery of life. But my mother was jubilant that she had miscarried since she already had 19 kids. That is how woman feel when faced with an unwanted pregnancy & have the option of abortion. When they do not have the option of a safe, legal abortion, millions of women around the world take matters into their own hands & many young mothers die.

The early women’s movement was concerned about how abortion & forced sterilization were/are used against Black, Latina, Native American women & women in other countries of black & brown women. To distinguish abortion as a woman’s right from racist eugenics programs, we formulated the demand “abortion on demand; no forced sterilization” & we fought for that demand. It is not that we don’t have respect for human life but that we do. We trust that women will make the best choice about their ability to give a child love & nurturance or terminate a pregnancy if they can’t. Women’s bodies; women’s right to decide.

“Who Assadists are going to mock now? The Sudanese Arab Spring. Who Assadists are going to vilify as terrorists & Islamists now? The Sudanese Arab Spring. Who Assadists are going to call paid actors now? Oh Sudanese White Helmets. Who is going to write the next War on Terror” chapter book? Oh Assad propagandists.”

—Tango Graffiti

Ohio just made abortion a crime after one & a half months of pregnancy; Alabama lawmakers are considering 99 years of prison for a woman who gets an abortion & Texas is considering the death penalty. And there you have it. Misogyny laid out in spades. A one-month fetus has more rights than an adult woman.

Alaa Salah, named the Nubian Queen for her iconic role in leading Sudanese protesters, opened a Twitter page & soon reported she was receiving death threats but that they would not deter her from standing against al-Bashir. The Twitter page is now closed down, most likely so she can protect herself. This is among the issues faced by women activists & revolutionists. Our fullest respect & solidarity with her & all women of the Sudanese Arab Spring.