[Marxism] Abortion under the Sandinista Revolution (was Ahmadinejad, an Islamic Feminist)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 14:27:06 MDT 2006

On 7/21/06, kersplebedeb <info at kersplebedeb.com> wrote:
> A little bit back Yoshie wrote something i truly agreed with, in a very
> profound way; namely that "When you are sure to lose, there are two ways
> to lose: lose by doing the same old thing, which has led to the imminent
> defeat; or lose by doing something new, which may not lead to a victory
> in the near future but can build a foundation for a better future in the
> long term.  If you have to lose, lose better."
> And then i see Yoshie writing something i truly disagree with, in an
> equally profound way: "Between the two revolutions [i.e. Iran and
> Nicaragua] that overthrew neocolonial regimes at the same time, which
> one survived to modernize society?"
> i understand that these two sentiments need not be in opposition with
> one another, but for myself and many many others, the first completely
> refutes the second.
> In the short term, both the Iranian and Nicaraguan left were defeated.
> But i certainly feel that - regardless of the embarassment that Daniel
> Ortega has become, regardless of Ahmadinejad's being mistaken by some
> for a modern-day Lenin - the Sandinistas "lost better".

The Iranian people have not lost most of what they have gained, unlike
the NIcaraguans.

Western leftists have a tendency to overlook the same problem that
existed or still exists in socialist countries as what exists in Iran.
 Abortion is a good example.

<blockquote>Despite symbolic pledges to gender equality, the FSLN was
fast becoming restrained in its ability to enact its progressive
platform. Reproductive rights and low-cost contraceptives in
particular became major demands of women actively involved in the
Nicaraguan women's movement. Such activism was primarily enacted
through AMNLAE. In particular, despite the progressive reformist
rhetoric of the FSLN on contraceptives and sex education, abortion
remained an extremely controversial issue. By the end of the 1980s,
maternal mortality figures showed that one third of all maternal
deaths were the result of self-induced abortions (Wessel 1991). It is
significant, however, to note that despite the anti-abortion stance of
the FSLN, within a year of the revolution, the police stopped
prosecuting women for having illegal abortions (Chavez Metoyer 2000:
28). Although the Sandinistas made it clear that they would not change
the laws prohibiting all but therapeutic abortions, they were lenient
in allowing therapeutic abortion services in hospitals. In 1989,
elective, first-trimester abortions at a European-funded
nongovernmental agency became available for a moderate fee (Wessel
1991). But because the FSLN was focused on building a new society for
the collective good, individual rights – such as the feminist view of
a woman's right to control her body – were never promoted, and in
fact, were often seen as bourgeois and counter-revolutionary (Wessel

(Emily S. Mann, "Familialism in Nicaragua: Reproductive and Sexual
Policy Regimes, 1979-200,"

Did Lou and others criticize _that_ during the Sandinista years in the
fashion they criticize the same problem in Iran?  If not, why not?

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