NUHW statement on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

NewsJune 24, 2022

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a devastating decision that jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of people in our country and denies the basic right of autonomy over one’s body for more than half our population.

Today’s ruling marks the first time that the Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right and then taken that right away.

It’s a harbinger of more attacks on the fragile freedoms that protect our most vulnerable communities and a clarion call to work much harder to protect the liberties that generations of Americans have secured through struggle and sacrifice.

NUHW believes that health care is a basic human right. No one’s healthcare options should be limited by how much money they make or where they live. This has been the guiding principle behind our union’s campaign for a fair and universal healthcare system.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling violates these core beliefs.

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority has delivered a victory for reactionary forces in our country that have sought to dictate who can get what kind of health care. As of today, people in as many as 28 states have lost their constitutional right to control when, under what circumstances and with whom they want to have children. They are no longer permitted to make the full range of healthcare decisions about their own bodies.

The people who will suffer most are those who don’t have the means to take time off and travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get the care they need. The consequences are also dire for healthcare providers, who now face being criminalized for assisting their patients.

The forces that have overturned Roe v. Wade are not only focused on eliminating a person’s right to terminate their pregnancy. They have targeted services for LGBTQIA+ people, blocked the expansion of safety net coverage to millions of poor people and banned undocumented residents from buying health insurance through Covered California and other health markets.

It is chilling that in his concurring opinion today, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should also reconsider other rulings that protect the right to contraception, same-sex relationships and and same-sex marriage.

As people who both deliver health care and depend on being able to receive health care, NUHW members are in a unique position to advocate for protecting everyone’s right to receive the full spectrum of care they need and to have full autonomy over their bodies. That includes working to enshrine reproductive rights into federal law and opening our doors in California to people seeking care.