‘We must galvanize ourselves, fight stronger from the ground up’
ROC United statement on the commemoration of Roe v. Wade
Today, January 22, 2023, we mark what would have been the 50th year of the landmark Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court decision that granted us a constitutional right to abortion at a federal level.
But this year’s anniversary, seven months after the ruling was overturned last June, will be different. Now more than ever, states play a critical role in introducing and enacting legislation to safeguard, restore and expand abortion access where they can.
In response, Dr. Sekou Siby, president and CEO of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, issued the following:
“The best way to approach the post-Roe world is to be in full prep mode so that we are ready at all times for what may come.
“Let’s galvanize ourselves by engaging in grassroots organizing, building power, and envisioning abortion rights and bodily autonomy from the ground up.
“The majority of restaurant workers are women, people of color, immigrants and members of the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities who are greatly affected by the elimination of our constitutional rights to abortion.
“These hardworking people have the most difficult time accessing abortion because they are low-paid workers who live in poverty, who cannot afford extra out-of-pocket costs, and who do not have access to the paid leave necessary to travel to an abortion clinic.
“This is why we introduced the Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights. And this is why we admonish state lawmakers to step up and enshrine abortion protections into state law and state constitutional amendments to protect the right to abortion.
“As we commemorate and, at the same time, mourn the loss of Roe, we must do everything we can at the polls when we exercise our voting rights, at workplaces, and in our communities to regain abortion access.
“We must also recommit ourselves to fighting for race and gender equity, and building a world where communities thrive, workers can exercise their full agency, determine their own reproductive futures, and live with dignity.
“This is surely not the time to stop.”