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ABORTION ISSUE IS BEYOND REALM OF THE AFL-CIO

After many months of delay, a firm date of Aug. 1 has finally been set as when the AFL-CIO will decide whether to adopt a pro-abortion position or stay away from an issue that many labor leaders predict could permanently divide the 14.1-million-member labor federation. The decision of the 35-member executive council will either keep the AFL-CIO neutral on abortion or commit its vast resources to lobbying and politicking in favor of abortion.

As a dues-paying member for more than 38 years, the current president of IUE Local 1581 and a board member of the Greater Buffalo AFL-CIO Council, I vehemently oppose any union support for abortion, and I firmly believe that the AFL-CIO should stay miles away from the abortion issue.

Abortion is simply not a labor union cause.

Pro-choice advocates couldn't care less about complicating the problems for the union. They want quick action to make support for abortion a "litmus test for labor endorsements of political candidates."

There have been a series of court cases that collectively make it extremely dangerous for the AFL-CIO to take a position on a non-union issue such as abortion, which the courts, including the Supreme Court, would almost surely see as curtailing various First Amendment rights of union members.

In short, should the AFL-CIO take a pro-abortion position, it stands to lose tens of millions of dollars from members who could successfully argue that their free speech or religious liberties rights were being violated.

RAY DUSZA
Cheektowaga

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