For Immediate Release: June 24th, 2022
Contact: Katie Moy Mostris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reproductive Justice is a Worker’s Right: APALA Condemns U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade
Washington, DC - Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on Dobbs v Jackson’s Women Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision which established a constitutional right to abortion. Effective today, nearly 40 million women, girls, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people in 26 states will lose access to to abortion, a vital form of healthcare. APALA, as the first and only national organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander workers, condemns this decision and stands ready to join the fight for reproductive justice.
The resulting abortion ban disproportionately impacts AAPI access to abortion. Sixty-six percent of Asian Americans and 30 percent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders speak a language other than English at home and experience difficulties in accessing health care due to language barriers. In addition, a third of AAPI pregnancies end in abortion, underlining the necessity of this care in our community. In 2019, APALA passed a resolution on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health that reaffirms our belief that “every that individual have a fundamental right to make personal reproductive health decisions free from coercion, discrimination, and stigma.”
The violence of patriarchy obscures the root cause of this issue which is to control the bodily autonomy and family making decisions of working people. Bodily autonomy is essential to our freedom and is a working a class issue. APALA will continue to stand in solidarity with people of color and other marginalized groups fighting for this freedom. As the Movement for Black Lives wrote in their statement, “Black women, girls, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people have been subjected to a long history of reproductive control rooted in the brutal legacy of enslavement—and denying access to safe, legal abortion and gender-affirming health services is a continuation of that troubling history.” APALA stands in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and recognizes the disproportionate impact this decision has on our black and brown siblings.
Jessica Tang, APALA National Treasurer and President of the Boston Teachers Union Local 66, said: “This ruling removes access to vital healthcare services, putting the health of women across the country at risk. In my journey to building my family, I was devastated to face choices that no expecting pregnant person wants to make. Due to a rare fetal anomoly that took a turn for the worse in my third trimester and medical complications resulting from this, I had to travel thousands of miles out of state to get a late term abortion. Access is already very limited, and I was lucky to have the ability and access to safe healthcare treatment, but under this ruling, many millions of families will be cut off from the treatment they need and it will become even more difficult for those who find themselves in situations like this. It is an economic justice issue and it is a health care issue, and our country has now gone backwards.”
Alvina Yeh, APALA Executive Director, said: “As a mother and someone who had an ectopic pregnancy that put my life in danger, I am grateful that I was given safe, legal options to terminate the pregnancy. Abortion access shouldn’t depend on how much you money you have or where you live. Yet, for too many, abortion is already too difficult to access. The Supreme Court’s opinion confirms our worst fears: the control of our bodies at the hands of the state. Reproductive justice is a worker’s right issue.”
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of whom are union members and our allies, building power for AAPI workers and communities.