Aparna Kumar,

Issued October 04, 2022

SEIU Passes New Resolution Affirming Support for Reproductive Rights

WASHINGTON — As the nation continues to deal with the impact of the the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)’s International Executive Board has passed a new resolution committing to “do everything in our power to keep abortion and all reproductive healthcare services safe, legal, and accessible for everyone, no matter their income, gender, race, immigration status, or where they live.”

SEIU, the nation’s largest health care union, represents 2 million members across the service and care economy in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, more than 60 percent of whom are women. The resolution reflects the fact that the decision to have a child can be one of the most important economic decisions a person can make: “Outlawing abortion undermines the physical health and economic stability of women and pregnant people…. Long-distance travel to access needed healthcare services will be unaffordable for many of those who need abortion care the most.”

SEIU passed its first resolution affirming reproductive rights back in 1992. The new resolution reaffirms the union’s commitment to reproductive rights for all and comes ahead of the Women’s Wave 2022 National Weekend of Action, October 7-9, in which SEIU is a partner. The weekend includes a march in Washington and events around the country pushing back against the rollback of reproductive rights and calling for gender justice.

Passed unanimously on September 30, the new resolution states: “SEIU members are service, care, and public workers of all races, and we are committed to a future where all of us have the freedom to make choices about our own bodies; to become parents if and when we choose; to bear healthy babies and raise happy children; and to build strong, safe communities where all families can thrive.”

In addition, the resolution recognizes that the abortion bans in effect or pending in many states have created fear and vulnerability for healthcare providers. “Bans create a crushing burden on healthcare workers by criminalizing the care and counsel their patients need.” Moreover, it states, “Patients cannot receive high quality and safe care if healthcare providers are forced to make decisions based on the dictates of politicians rather than evidence-based medicine and a patient’s individual choice.”

“Make no mistake: The anti-woman, far-right extremists hellbent on taking away our reproductive freedom are the same ones who are taking away our freedom to vote, our freedom to marry whom we love, our freedom to live in communities safe from gun violence and our freedom to join together in unions,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. “Working people have their eyes wide open to what’s been happening in Washington, D.C., and in their state legislatures. We’re fired up and ready to exercise our power at the polls to fight for unions for all and a government that works for all of us – not just corporations and the wealthy.”