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For Immediate Release
May 23, 2022


ALBANY, NY – United University Professions released a statement today that reasserts unequivocal support for abortion rights.

Full Statement from United University Professions:

"United University Professions reasserts its unequivocal support for abortion rights and all reproductive rights in the United States and globally.

“As these rights are imperiled in ways that they have not been in the past 50 years, we state that abortion rights are workers’ rights. Any efforts to rescind these rights are direct attacks on working people, our autonomy, and our right to live dignified lives. The UUP statewide Executive Board passed a resolution on May 18, 2022 to this effect.

“In light of the recently leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft majority opinion suggesting it could soon overturn abortion protections in Roe v. Wade, UUP insists that the right to terminate a pregnancy is inseparable from the rights of working people to control our own labor. The struggle to maintain abortion choice and access cannot be separated from labor’s struggles for safety, equality, and dignity in the workplace.

“Accessible abortion services are part of the labor movement’s demands for affordable health care and related benefits and a quality standard of living for all working people. Risks to and discrimination against pregnant workers on the job, and the paucity of well-paid family and caretaking leave nationally make the right to choose pregnancy and childbearing a labor issue at its core. Persistent gender pay inequity means that women must work ever harder to support children; prohibitive costs, scarcity, and inadequate state support make child care out of reach for many working parents. The question of whether to have children and how many children to have is inseparable from our compensation and working conditions, and as with those conditions, the choice must be up to workers themselves.

“The right to choose not to carry a pregnancy is the right to refuse forced labor — both the biological labor of gestation and childbirth, and the care work of child rearing. Quite simply, forced pregnancy is forced labor. It is a violation of the foundational human rights of all people.

"The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rates of any industrialized country, and those rates are highest among African Americans. Those who will be affected most if abortion is criminalized, and who are already are harmed most by current abortion restrictions, are the very people that our union and the labor movement have committed to advance: the poor and working classes.

"These workers, and particularly childbearing people from African American, Indigenous, and Latino/Latina populations, will pay the highest costs financially and will face the greatest health risks when seeking abortions under excessive restrictions and prohibitions. UUP has pressed for increased resources for maternal health in our recent legislative advocacy, and we will continue to do so.

"The stark curtailment of reproductive rights is occurring as voting rights are eroding in many states. UUP rejects these transparent efforts to control and exploit working people.

"UUP stands in solidarity with childbearing workers and all working people and families as we face threats to our rights, freedoms, and lives. We pledge to continue to assert the full rights of our members, workers, women and all childbearing people to safe, legal abortions and all other reproductive rights. We will mobilize in elections for candidates who will protect, strengthen, and further codify abortion rights in state and federal legislation; we will fight for the passage of a federal law that guarantees access to safe abortions; and we will call upon our affiliates and organized labor to join us in these actions."

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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