Terry Bellamak’s Remarks at Wellington’s Anti-TERF Rally
Kia Ora koutou. Ahiahi marie.
Thanks for coming out today and standing up from trans rights.
I’m Terry Bellamak, life member and former president of ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa. And I’m here to tell you ALRANZ supports our trans whanau.
LGBT folks were there for us during abortion law reform, and now we are there for them
During the fight for abortion law reform, especially at the end, when we were organising marches, rallies, petitions, LGBT groups were the first to jump in, always front and centre, standing up for the bodily autonomy of pregnant people. That means a lot to us, and we do not forget.
Now it’s trans rights that are under attack – from the same folks, the same right wing extremists and their fellow travellers that opposed abortion rights. What a coincidence.
So here we are. We come to stand with our trans whanau and we are here for the long haul. We’re not going anywhere.
The fight for reproductive rights is not over
We see it all over the world – reproductive rights and trans rights are both getting hammered. Especially in the US, where right wing groups – TERFs, fundamentalists, christian dominionists, white supremacists and other racists, incels and other anti-feminists, and of course, your straight-up Nazis – these people are coming together to try and roll back the human rights of those they do not consider to be fully human.
And make no mistake, right wing extremists here in Aotearoa, including TERFs are trying to do the same thing here, coming together in right-wing coalitions like the ones in the states, to force us all back to the 1950s, when white cis men’s authority was not questioned. Fuck that.
Abortion rights matter to everyone – not just cis women and trans men, but everyone who values bodily autonomy. Just like human rights matter for everyone, not just for those whose rights are under attack today.
We have an election coming up, and what we need to remember is that reproductive rights are not safe. National’s leader, evangelical Chris Luxon – who says abortion is tantamount to murder – has promised not to repeal the Abortion Legislation Act. But here’s the thing – an anti-abortion government could do a lot of damage without repealing the Act.
Like for instance changing Care of Children Act to require teens who want abortion care to get their parents permission, something Posie Parker supports.
Or like just not approving safe areas, which means harassing people outside abortion services is not illegal, which it currently isn’t. Sadly, our current government has also failed to approve any safe areas after a year.
To preserve our rights, we need to vote like our fundamental human rights are at stake, because they are.
Today we’re here and we stand together and we will win
Our opponents would like nothing better than to divide us. Fuck that.
Especially TERFs, trying to pass themselves off as feminists. That’s bullshit.
The feminist movement is intersectional – it must include LGBT rights, or it’s not feminism.
Everyone here, we are all here for one reason – to fight the patriarchy.
And the sensible people of Aotearoa support us – 74% support abortion rights, and 80% support trans rights. The haters have already lost. But they haven’t stopped fighting yet.
So that’s why ALRANZ is here to stand with our trans siblings. And we’ll be here next time, and the time after that, until everyone – everyone – is safe from violence, and their human rights are recognised and respected.
Thanks for listening, and thanks for coming out today!
Ka kite ano.