Statement on Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen

Reproductive Justice Initiative strongly decries and condemns the treatment of Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen by The Labour Party. The Labour Party’s actions are indicative of an unfair political party process that led to the mistreatment of one the parties most prominent members of parliament, and a promising prospective parliamentary candidate, due to racism. 

Reproductive Justice is developed as an ideological framework and praxis to give everyone the tools and resources to exercise their reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. Most importantly it lays bare the political, economic and social forces that impact individuals and communities, on a local and global level.

Reproductive Justice Initiative (RJI) is an organisation committed to the dismantling patriarchy, white supremacy, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and imperialism.Through their politics, work and activism, Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen have demonstrated values that align with our mission at RJI. 

The right to abortion is under attack, the trans community is under attack and the right to protest is under attack. The Windrush generation is memorialised, with some passing away whilst awaiting compensation from a government that caused their suffering. Dreams of asylum seekers being flown to Rwanda are being shared by members of parliament. Austerity ravages the UK and children are sent to their beds with empty stomachs. We need politicians in parliament who will not shy away from politics that challenges systems of oppression that threaten or undermine all our access to holistic reproductive health.

There is no denying that there has been a fundamental shift in our politics to the right, people like Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen, who prioritise speaking up for those marginalised by the current political system here and across the world, are seen as a threat to the status quo. The road to the general election on the 4 July 2024, will sadly be paved with more instances of unfairness, injustice, racism, transphobia and homophobia, all in aid of the consolidation of power in the hands of the few at the expense of us all.  

Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen have been committed to social justice both at home and abroad. They have both repeatedly demonstrated a thoughtful and considered commitment to grassroots action and solidarity. It is those same values that call upon us to speak out about their mistreatment.

A democracy thrives when disparate voices can consult, strategise, and make policies for the cross-section of the British public. An equitable provision of Reproductive Rights can only be enfranchised within systems that facilitate justice – by politicians who are not constrained by a lack of imagination but who champion new pathways for brighter futures. 

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