Last Friday was a hard day. A majority of unelected Supreme Court justices defied strong public support for the right to choose abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. We share the outrage and fear that greeted this ruling, not only because of the dire consequences for anyone seeking abortion care, but also the frightening implications for democracy and freedom in our society.
We can’t be silent in the face of this insult to our values—as unionists, as educators, as citizens. Rhetoric about diversity, equity, and solidarity means little without the willingness to speak up and take action. This week, our Executive Council joined many other education unions in declaring our opposition to the Supreme Court’s unjust decision and our support for the right to choose. Please read our statement and share it with colleagues and friends. Then get involved in the battle to stop the right-wing attacks on our rights—whether through your union (you can sign up to get involved here) or in your communities.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rutgers AAUP-AFT Supports the Right to Abortion
Rutgers AAUP-AFT stands unequivocally for the right to abortion. We are angered by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and, with it, the constitutional right to abortion. This decision will have deadly consequences for women and people seeking abortion care around the United States. Already, nine states have banned abortion since Friday, and numerous others are poised to do so imminently. The most severe consequences will fall on people who will not be able to travel to secure abortion care, in particular women of color, trans people, and people with limited resources.
Let us also be clear: this dramatic move is part of a broad-based, long-term right-wing attack on the hard-fought wins of social movements. The Court is systematically narrowing the legal scope of our human rights, as it shows time and again in decisions on abortion, voting rights, labor rights, gun control, the climate crisis, the separation of church and state, and more.
In response, we know that the only way to overcome such an attack and secure civil rights for all is to organize. In that spirit, we commit ourselves to working with students, other workers, and community members in New Jersey and around the country to take action to secure abortion care, bodily autonomy, and women’s and trans rights as we build towards a transformative movement of working people.
In the immediate term, we call on the Democratic Party, which currently controls the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, to codify the federal right to abortion and take action to undo the conservative movement’s takeover of the legal system by:
- Shielding abortion rights from the filibuster;
- Passing national legislation to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law; and
- Expanding the Supreme Court to eliminate the conservative supermajority.
Finally, we call on New Jersey lawmakers and Rutgers administrators to expand abortion access in our state, on our campuses, and beyond. Rutgers must offer safe access to abortion care for all members of our community and must continue to train health care providers in all aspects of reproductive health at our university and university-related medical education facilities. Our actions must match our words.