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Women’s Rights

WHEREAS:

            Governors across this country have supported proposed bills and laws that restrict the economic and basic health care rights of American women; and

WHEREAS:

            They repealed the “equal pay enforcement act,” which had given women a means to fight and correct pay discrimination resulting in the average American family losing more than $4000 annually due to income inequality based on gender; and

WHEREAS:

            Some states have enacted legislation that requires women seeking abortions to undergo invasive, medically unnecessary ultrasounds, including vaginal ultrasounds; and

WHEREAS:

            In some states these anti-women health care laws have restricted the places where abortions can be performed, thus making it more difficult for young and low-income women to get an abortion if they so choose and which is their right under the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS:

            The criminalization or restriction of safe and legal abortion services does not necessarily reduce the number of abortions, but jeopardizes women’s health by limiting access to safe, high-quality health care; and

WHEREAS:

            In some states like Wisconsin, proposed Assembly Bill 216 and Senate Bill 202, prohibit insurance plans offered through the state’s Group Insurance Board (GIB) from covering abortion services for state, county and municipal employees and also carve a hole in the 2009 “contraceptive equity law” by exempting certain employers – religious organizations – from covering contraceptives for their employees; and

WHEREAS:

            Under so-called “fetal personhood” laws, hundreds of women have been arrested across the country and thousands more have been subjected to punitive and counterproductive child welfare measures; and

WHEREAS:

            These assaults on reproductive health care and income equality are being carried out five years into a devastating recession in which it is already difficult for working families to raise families; and

WHEREAS:

            Women make up more than 50 percent of AFSCME membership; and

WHEREAS:

            Since women’s entry into the organized labor movement, the union has been integral to economic and political well-being of working class women; and

WHEREAS:

            Women workers, fighting gender discrimination both inside and outside of the work place, while also finding common ground with their male counterparts, have repeatedly provided the backbone of the labor movement throughout history.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That the delegates to the International Convention, assembled in Chicago, Illinois, July 14-18, 2014, support restoring the “equal pay enforcement act” and oppose legislation that restricts a woman’s basic right to health care and reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That the delegates also support full access to health care and family planning services for all of America’s workers.

 

SUBMITTED BY:
Silke O’Donnell, Vice President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 373, Council 40 Wisconsin

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