An array of metal, hardcore and punk outfits have contributed music to a new charity compilation, Riffs for Reproductive Justice, benefitting the National Network of Abortion Funds and the Yellowhammer Fund.
Metal writer and activist Kim Kelly (who has contributed to Rolling Stone) organized the 33-track set, which is available to purchase on Bandcamp for $5 (though buyers can donate more). The track list includes Hether Fortune, Closet Witch, Vile Creature, Sunrot, Dawn Ray’d and Racetraitor, while special cuts include Cliterati’s cover of L7’s “Fast and Frightening,” Fucked and Bound’s cover of Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thang” and Thou’s rendition of the Leadbelly classic, “In the Pines.”
Arriving in the wake of regressive anti-abortion and anti-choice legislation in states like Alabama, Missouri and Georgia, a mission statement for the compilation reads: “A theocratic fascist regime is working overtime to control the bodies of those who have uteruses, to force us into unwanted pregnancies, to wrest away our human rights. We cannot stand by and let this happen. All of us —people of every gender, with every kind of body — need to fight back against this horrifying attack on bodily autonomy, by any means necessary.”
It continues, “There are so many other brave individuals and groups who have been putting in work around this issue for decades, and my hope here is to raise a significant amount of funds from within the metal, punk, and overall music fan communities to allow them to continue that necessary work.”
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In a statement, Serena Cherry of the Bristol, England outfit Svalbard added that Riffs for Reproductive Justice “shows how music can unite us to fight against the current regression in women’s women’s rights. But it also makes me sad, that in 2019, the need for a Reproductive Rights compilation even exists. How is women’s bodily autonomy still even up for debate?! How has the political climate taken such a giant leap back? A dismaying state of affairs it truly is, but uniting on a compilation like this gives me a sense of strength against this backwards pro-life bullshit. Together, we will fight against this misogyny. Together, we will use music to promote equal rights.”
Many of the artists on Riffs for Reproductive Justice performed at a two-day punk and metal festival/anti-fascist gathering in January, Black Flags Over Brooklyn, which Kelly also organized.