SAG-AFTRA and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees are among the Hollywood unions vowing to fight to protect a woman’s right to choose after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In a statement, SAG-AFTRA, which represents approximately 160,000 actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, news and editors, program hosts, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals said, “Anyone who believes in the right of women to make their own healthcare decisions should be outraged with today’s archaic and dangerous ruling. Every American deserves and is entitled to an equal right to healthcare choice.”
It went on to say, “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.”
As part of its commitment, SAG-AFTRA offered a state-by-state resource for its members.
IATSE also released a statement, calling the Supreme Court decision “wrong.” The statement said, “In its outrageous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, SCOTUS has abandoned a 50-year precedent and the will of 70% of the American people to impose one of the worst contractions of freedoms in modern U.S. history. Make no mistake, this will directly harm the welfare of our union sisters and kin, and therefore we must respond strongly.”
It went on to say, “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.”
The union that represents over 100,000 technicians and craftspeople working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry in the U.S. and Canada added, “If extremist justices will blatantly ignore established legal precedent and lie about it in their confirmation hearings, how far will they go? 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.”
IATSE’s Women’s Committee, dedicated to providing networking and mentorship opportunities for women in the union, also released a statement saying women still have to fight for equal pay, and that equal representation is still something women have to fight for. “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.”
The committee statement from Joanne Sanders, IATSE VP & chair of IATSE Women’s Committee, continued, “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.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote via the Associated Press, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett were among the justices who voted to overturn the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights. It also effectively strikes down the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that largely maintained the right established in Roe.