SAG-AFTRA says it’s “disappointed” by Friday’s Supreme Court decision that allows Texas’ anti-abortion law to stand, saying that it exposes SAG-AFTRA members to “real risk” through the lack of basic reproductive healthcare.
That law, Senate Bill 8, prohibits abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, generally after about six weeks of pregnancy, and allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who assists them in the procedure. The actors union called the law “deplorable and alarming,” and the high court’s ruling “chilling.”
“SAG-AFTRA objects to any law that places our members at risk,” the union said in a statement. “The recent trend in certain states to enact legislation threatening criminal penalties or civil persecution for women’s exercise of basic reproductive rights and freedoms is deplorable and alarming. So-called ‘heartbeat’ legislation and similar laws expose SAG-AFTRA members to real risk, including lack of access to basic reproductive health care, when working around the country. Working under such a threat is simply unacceptable, and we reject these misguided legislative efforts.”
In October, delegates to SAG-AFTRA’s biennial national convention voted overwhelmingly to condemn such laws “in the strongest terms possible.”
“Accordingly, we are disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision to allow Texas’ unconscionable S.B. 8 to remain in effect pending further court proceedings,” the union said. “Today’s decision is chilling to anyone committed to the protection of women’s access to reproductive healthcare. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor notes in her dissent: ‘the Court effectively invites other States to refine S. B. 8’s model for nullifying federal rights. The Court thus betrays not only the citizens of Texas, but also our constitutional system of government.’”
The union added that it will, “as always, fight to protect and support the rights of members who work in states where adequate safety protections and access to health services cannot be assured.”