January 22 marks what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—if not for the Supreme Court overturning the ruling in June, striking down the constitutional right to abortion care.
As an economic justice organization, Jobs to Move America echoes the statements from labor unions and other organizations that frame reproductive healthcare as a workers’ rights issue.
JMA fights for good jobs that create freedom for workers by giving them a choice to form a union, offering family-sustaining wages and benefits, and providing safe workplaces. Good jobs offer not just autonomy in the workplace, but the freedom to live a full life outside of work. We see restricting access to abortion as an affront to the freedom to decide what’s best for our bodies, our families and our future.
The kind of abortion bans enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision disproportionately affect low-wage workers who already face barriers to healthcare access. As Angela Dawson, JMA’s Community Engagement Coordinator in Mississippi pointed out when Roe was first overturned, some women in the rural south live almost an hour away from the nearest hospital—an issue felt in rural areas across the country. Also, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate out of all developed countries. Good maternal care is difficult to access in the U.S. even for those who are pregnant by choice.
Instead of laws restricting reproductive care, this country needs to do more to support working families. Besides safeguarding the country from a national abortion ban, Congress must make it easier for workers to join and form unions, which give workers family-sustaining wages, good benefits, and the bargaining power to demand continued access to abortion care. Congress must continue to fully fund the National Labor Relations Board, which protects the rights of workers to organize.
JMA is continuing to fight for economic justice for families and all workers by winning community benefits agreements with manufacturers and policies that support the creation of good jobs. We stand with those in healthcare-sector unions and reproductive rights organizations who are on the front lines in the fight for abortion access.