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Birth Strike: women fighting for their lives


Birth Strike, book, The Hidden Fight Over Women's Work, women's rights, abortion rights, USA, campaignThe book is one element of a broader campaign for women’s reproductive rights.

Feminists generally believe that a prudish religious bloc is responsible for the protracted fight over reproductive freedom in the USA, and that politicians only attack abortion and birth control to appeal to those “values voters”.

But hidden behind this conventional explanation is a dramatic fight over women’s reproductive labour.

On one side, elite policymakers want an expanding workforce reared with a minimum of employer spending and a maximum of unpaid women’s work.

On the other side, women are refusing to produce children at levels desired by economic planners.

By some measures the birth rate in the USA is the lowest it has ever been.

With little access to childcare, family leave, health care, and with insufficient male participation, U.S. women are conducting a spontaneous birth strike.

In other countries, panic over low birth rates has led governments to underwrite childbearing and childrearing with generous universal programmes, but in the USA, women have not yet realised the potential of our bargaining position.

When they do, it will lead to new strategies for winning full access to abortion and birth control, and for improving the difficult working conditions parents in the USA now face when raising children.

To learn more about the Birth Strike, have a read of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work which came out on 1 March 2019, published by PM Press.

A book tour is being planned, along with consciousness-raising meetings, a publicity blitz, and creative actions later in the year.

And a Kickstarter has just been launched to fund these efforts.

The ‘Birth Strike’ book is one element of a broader campaign to:

1 – Expose the high birth rate agenda of the power structure (this explains why they’re coming after our reproductive rights!)

2 – Show how the U.S. economy relies on women’s unpaid work, with employers and the rich benefitting disproportionately.

3 – Defy the expectation that women will work a “double day” – a full day of work for pay and then eight more hours of unpaid care work and housework at home.

4 – Use the leverage of our spontaneous “birth strike” to win our immediate demands for paid family leave, childcare (free like the public schools), guaranteed health care, and shorter work hours for all, all of which are in place in so many other countries.

To build momentum, campaigners are asking for your participation – by hosting a consciousness-raising group or book group, organising an author event, or reviewing the book.

To reach women around the country, the project needs funds. Check out the video at the Kickstarter.


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