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Hollywood’s unions reacting Friday to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
SAG-AFTRA has called the decision “archaic and dangerous,” and vowed to “fight to protect women’s right to choice.”
“Anyone who believes in the right of women to make their own healthcare decisions should be outraged with today’s archaic and dangerous ruling,” the guild said in a statement Friday. “Every American deserves and is entitled to an equal right to healthcare choice. Today, the United States Supreme Court abandoned that principle in a ruling that empowers states to enact draconian restrictions on healthcare choice and destroy lives, if we allow it. We will continue to fight to ensure the overwhelming majority voice of the people is heard in state and federal legislative bodies. We have the collective power to make certain today’s decision does not overcome the will of the people. SAG-AFTRA will fight to protect women’s right to choice and self-determination that has been recognized for decades.”
The guild added that it is “committed to protecting the health and safety of the members in our industry and beyond,” and offered a guide to abortion laws in each state, which can be seen here.
SAG-AFTRA noted that it is “a union that has among its members a diverse group of performers, broadcasters and newscasters. The passage of this statement should not be interpreted as a personal statement of opinion by or of any specific member of the union.”
IATSE also blasted the Supreme Court’s ruling, calling it an “outrageous decision” and “one of the worst contractions of freedoms in modern U.S. history.”
“If extremist justices will blatantly ignore established legal precedent and lie about it in their confirmation hearings, how far will they go?” the union said in a statement. “The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision shows the court is prepared to nullify the rights Americans fought and died for. We stand together as sisters, brothers, and kin to ensure liberty and justice for all. Lawmakers at all levels must defend reproductive healthcare and Americans’ fundamental freedoms immediately, or face being replaced by those who will.”
“Make no mistake, this will directly harm the welfare of our union sisters and kin, and therefore we must respond strongly,” the union representing behind-the-scenes film and TV workers said. “We know well the catastrophic consequences that follow when authoritarians legislate control over our wombs, bodies, and lives.Taking away the option to receive compassionate reproductive care in the form of safe, legal abortions will disproportionally harm working-class people, force unwilling parents into poverty, worsen the already unacceptable maternal mortality crisis, imprison innocents for their biological functions (including miscarriages), and cut short far too many bright careers and lives.”
In a separate statement, the IATSE Women’s Committee said that it “believes in the right of all persons to make life choices based on the best information they have that impacts their immediate decision. Having lived in this country as women, many of us know too well the injustices and inequities that we’ll face under this authoritarian move. Not that long ago, we fought for contraceptive insurance coverage, and it’s still not comprehensive. We still fight for equal pay. We still don’t have equal representation in our so-called halls of justice.
“Let’s not forget that just a few short months ago we saw many Americans stealing the pro-choice slogan ‘My Body, My Choice’ when it was convenient for them. Our bodies are no less valuable. Our contributions to this country are no less valuable. Our choices are equally significant. This is about controlling women.
“The Women’s Committee is primed to take back that slogan and stand with the 70 % of Americans who support choice. We will stand together with our sisters, brothers, and kin to ensure …liberty and justice for all.”
The statement was signed by Joanne Sanders, IATSE vice president and chair of IATSE Women’s Committee.
IATSE’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee also weighed in, saying that it is “dismayed and outraged by the Dobbs v. Jackson decision overturning Roe vs Wade. All five justices in favor spoke to Roe vs Wade being an established precedent in their confirmation hearings, and now blatantly ignore that precedent. BIPOC and working-class people will bear the brunt of this decision; autonomy and choice will be taken away, with no exceptions in at least 20 states across the USA.
“The language of the decision and blatant disregard of established precedent is disturbing, and leaves opportunities to repeal established Civil Rights legislation on interracial marriage, marriage equality, equal opportunity and Title IX, and even Brown v. Board of Education. Decades of hard-fought progress on voting rights, equality, humanity and equity-building are at risk from the stroke of a pen. We must not let this happen. We will work together to protect choice and our collective Civil Rights.”
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