1199SEIU Statement on Abortion Rights

June 24, 2022

Statement of George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of healthcare workers in the United States:

“As a union of healthcare workers, we recognize that the right to an abortion is fundamental to reproductive health, overall health, and bodily autonomy. 1199SEIU is appalled that the US Supreme Court has erased half a century of legal precedent allowing people to make the most basic decisions about their bodies, lives, and families. While much of the world is moving forward to secure greater reproductive rights, we have taken a tremendous step backward.

“Large majorities of Americans support abortion rights. Yet the Supreme Court, stacked with extremist voices totally out of step with our nation’s values, has radically undermined the right of every person who can get pregnant to control their own bodies.

“The ramifications of overturning Roe vs. Wade are as gut-wrenching as they are predictable: there will be an immediate wave of abortion bans in states around the country as trigger laws go into effect. People will seek out alternative and dangerous ways of ending their pregnancies. Rape victims, including children, will be forced to carry to term. Those who can afford it will travel out of state or out of country for abortion procedures; those with the least financial means will have nowhere to go. The same politicians who herald the end of reproductive freedom will not raise finger to improve pre- and post-natal care and ensure that health services are universally available.

“This decision must be a glaring wake-up call to the dysfunction of our nation’s political life and the grave threat of authoritarianism to our democracy, our laws, and institutions.

“1199SEIU stands firmly behind the right to choose and we will continue to fight tooth and nail to preserve this most basic freedom. We call on Congress to codify abortion rights into federal law immediately.”