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.