SAG-AFTRA, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Directors Guild of America and the Costume Designers Guild 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 writers and editors, 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 added, “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 continued, “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 equal representation: “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.”
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.”
The Directors Guild of America also strongly condemned the court’s decision. A statement released by guild president Lesli Linka Glatter said, “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a giant step backwards for our country and puts women’s lives at risk. It denies countless women the most basic of their human rights – the right to autonomy over their own bodies. We are committed to making sure our members continue to have access and ability to make their own reproductive
decisions and determine the path they set for their own lives. We strongly condemn this ruling and stand in solidarity with so many others speaking out to decry this travesty.”
Earlier today, the Directors Guild Foundation approved a new policy providing financial travel assistance to DGA members who need to travel out of state to ensure they have access to safe abortion services regardless of their state of residence.
The Costume Designers Guild, Local 892, which is largely made up of women, said in a statement, “As an organization we strive to protect the health, safety and rights of our members. In this light, today’s Supreme Court ruling which overturns Roe v. Wade is astonishing not only in its complete disavowal of the basic rights of women, it is disheartening because it strikes against what we are working towards every day. It also has far reaching implications for gay marriage and contraception. Undoing years of progress, we believe this ruling does not just hurt women, but all of society.”
Presidents past and present of the Alliance for Women Film Composers also issued a statement. Calling for women to come together and support one another, they wrote, “The ramifications are grave and devastating. We join with women across the country who are overwhelmed with the new backwards reality we now officially face, one which has already started taking hold in many states across the country including Texas and Oklahoma.” The statement went on to say, “While the Alliance for Women Film Composers is not a political organization, we are speaking out because the consequences of women not having full legal autonomy over their bodies affects us not only in our personal lives but also our careers. It impacts our control and freedom in our work choices.”
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.