Never Complacent, Even with Which Party You Work

Thank you for publishing Timothy Brynes’ article “The Democratic Party Is Not the ‘Prochoice Party’ and It Never Will Be” in the last issue of Conscience magazine, which was an enlightening read to anyone attempting to understand contemporary US politics.

I fully agree with the author’s conclusion that “issue activists who have aligned themselves with a given political party … have to be utterly clearheaded, persistently mobilized and never complacent.” As an advocate and activist for reproductive rights in Europe, I find this statement to be valid at both national and European Union (EU) levels. Based on my experience, I would also add that activists should not focus solely on any single party but promote cross-partisan support to prochoice policies and reproductive health services to ensure their implementation in the long run.

In my work supporting NGO partners, I make sure to interact with as wide a range of policymakers as possible, independent of their political orientation or placement on the left- to right-wing axis. Indeed, in a political context where divisions along the traditional political spectrum are becoming increasingly irrelevant, I believe it is crucial to build alliances over commonly shared values and ideals, such as equality, autonomy, integrity and dignity. In my work with events such as All of Us, which unite cross-party members of the European Parliament who support reproductive health and rights in the EU, I found that support to these values is not something which can be found on solely one end of the political spectrum. Furthermore, securing backing from policymakers from all backgrounds and political affiliations increases the likelihood of access to reproductive rights remaining stable throughout times of political change.

ELENA ZACHARENKO
Researcher and policy consultant
Brussels, Belgium

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