The Supreme Court has just overruled the fifty-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected women’s reproductive rights. In anticipation of the decision, unions joined women’s, civil rights and liberties, and many other groups to decry the threat to women’s healthcare and their right to control their own bodies and lives:
AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “Access to health care without fear and intimidation is every person’s right. We must be able to control our own bodies — which has a direct impact on economic justice and the ability of working people to make a better life for themselves and their families.”
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson: The draft opinion is “not just a radical assault on our rights and settled law, it is an attack against the majority of this country and the ideals upon which it was founded.” The Constitutional right affirmed by the court in 1973 to safe access and the legal right to an abortion was “transformational for women’s rights and our jobs.”
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew: “We are outraged at the Supreme Court’s apparent decision to overturn precedence on women’s constitutional right to health care, privacy and safe abortion. Our history as union members reminds us that every right and benefit is hard fought and only maintained through continued struggle. The constitutional right to privacy regarding reproductive health is in peril. If our highest court takes that right away, we must fight for legislation to guarantee it.”
New York Nurses Association: “The draft opinion leaked on May 2 from the Supreme Court would undermine Roe V. Wade and decades of reproductive rights for women in the U.S. As nurses and healthcare professionals, we affirm women’s right to healthcare and full reproductive healthcare services, including abortion.”
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees: The proposed decision would be “one of the worst contractions of freedoms in modern US history” that “would directly harm the welfare of our union sisters and kin.”
Writers Guild of America West: “Women’s rights are human rights, and any laws that ban or limit a woman’s right to choose are dangerous and set a precedent for further erosion of our collective civil rights. We call on our employers to consider the laws of each state when choosing production locations to ensure that our members will never be denied full access to reproductive healthcare.”
Coalition of Labor Union Women President Elise Bryant: “The Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade is an outrage and an affront to the opinion of the majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to reproductive freedom including a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists: The CBTU unequivocally condemns any court ruling anywhere that strikes down Roe v. Wade, and we will do everything in our power to defend the reproductive rights of women.”
For a documentary on the history of the struggle over the right to abortion and contraception written by Jeremy Brecher, editor of Making a Living on a Living Planet, see The Roots of Roe here.