PROTEC17 stands with the millions of women, girls, transgender and gender-non-conforming people, and all working people for reproductive healthcare, justice, and rights.
Since 1918, PROTEC17 members have joined together to create better lives for ourselves and our communities. In order to achieve these goals, we have fought for the freedoms to live, work and thrive, and the ability to secure rights on the job, earn family-sustaining wages, and equitable treatment for all workers. These core protections and economic strengths are necessary to give working people the ability to make meaningful choices in our lives, free from the arbitrary tyranny of unfair employers or exploitative workplaces.
Few choices are as significant as whether or not to have a child. It is not only a tremendous personal decision, but a critical economic decision as well. As union members, if we are to be able to exercise our hard-won freedoms, then this decision must remain fully ours.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade directly threatens workers’ ability to govern their own lives and economic situation.
“Workers and their families — particularly Black & Indigenous folks and people of color — face serious harm when access to reproductive health care is limited or denied. These restrictions fall heaviest on our BIPOC siblings, but they are a threat to all of us.”
– Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO
For women and pregnant people, this decision represents the stripping away of agency and freedom. It is nothing short of an absolute denial of dignity, respect and humanity. It substantiates the right to exert control over half of our population’s bodies as if we are incompetent and incapable of caring for our own bodies. And yet, this decision is only the beginning.
The Court’s ruling could very well call into question the right to use birth control, the right to marry the person who we choose, and the right for consenting adults to do as they wish in the privacy of their own home without being arrested or charged with crimes. Justice Clarence Thomas directly called for the Court to eliminate these rights, paving the way for attacks on our autonomy, liberty, and privacy.
PROTEC17 joins our union siblings here in Washington and nationally in affirming that reproductive rights are workers’ rights. Wages, benefits, the ability to have time off for vacation and take care of oneself or family, a retirement with dignity, fairness, and respect are some of the many wins we have secured over the years in contracts and workplaces. A person’s choice of when to have a child is intricately connected to all of these and much more. We will not cease fighting for our values, including healthcare rights, reproductive rights, and all reproductive choices.