Reproductive Rights

December 17, 2023

1199ers join the fight to keep abortion safe and available to all.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year and removed the constitutional right to abortion, poll after poll has demonstrated the unpopularity of the judgement. Most Americans seem to believe that the decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is not something the state should weigh in on.

Last year, six states included abortion-related measures on the ballot. Each poll resulted in victories for abortion-rights advocates, including those in more conservative states such as Kansas and Kentucky.

In the most recent victory in Ohio in early November, campaigners appealed to voters innate conservatism about government overreach rather than focusing squarely on women’s rights. The strategy seemed to appeal to the widest group of voters.

In Florida, 1199ers are taking part in a campaign to put reproductive rights on the 2024 general election ballot. If the initiative goes ahead, it would give Floridians the chance to vote down a potential 6-week abortion ban that is looming on the horizon in the sunshine state. At press time, there were more than 600,000 signatures on a petition for the constitutional amendment championed by Floridians Protecting Freedom.

Deborah Montgomery, an 1199 RN and lactation consultant who lives in Palm Beach said her fellow nurses, doctors and caregivers were overwhelmingly against this extremist overreach by the state.

“That is why 1199SEIU, the largest union of caregivers in the state, is strongly supporting the ballot initiative. In addition to our members canvassing neighborhoods, operating phone and text banks, and other volunteer actions, our Union will make a $250,000 contribution to gather petition signatures and votes,” Montgomery told the Palm Beach Post.

“Like the vast majority of Floridians, and academic non-partisan studies prove this, our caregivers feel deeply that reproductive healthcare matters should be private, personal rights ― not for the state to intrude. We know that the decision to have an abortion is always delicate, difficult and usually necessary. It’s no place for cynical politicians or uninformed bureaucrats to flagrantly trample,” she added.

Laws that outlaw abortion most hurt women and communities who need the most compassion and support. Low-income women, already challenged by lack of access to affordable healthcare, are not able to afford to travel to another state that provides proper reproductive and abortion rights.