National Co+op Grocers states support for abortion rights in the US

The co-op has expanded its employee health services to provide travel benefits in states with restrictive abortion laws, after the Supreme Court threatened Roe v Wade

US retail co-op apex National Co+op Grocers has made a statement in favour of reproductive rights after Supreme Court signalled its intention to overturn Roe v Wade and return abortion laws to state control.

The co-op said it “affirms the human right of bodily autonomy and the liberty for women, transgender and nonbinary people to make decisions about their own bodies, including health care decisions”.

It says the Supreme Court’s decision “will jeopardise this human right for millions of people, including NCG and co-op staff, and will disproportionately harm those without the economic means to travel to states where abortions are legally, safely and respectfully performed.

“In turn, this will further compound the systemic socio-economic disparities that exist in the US healthcare system, especially in maternal health, and particularly for queer people, people in the disability community and people of colour. In 2021, nineteen states passed 108 laws restricting abortion access and there are more such laws on state dockets in 2022.”

NCG says it committed to safeguarding reproductive rights for its staff and has expanded its employee health services to provide travel benefits for employees and dependents in states with restrictive abortion laws, “to ensure all staff have equal access to necessary health care regardless of where they live”.

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It added: “We call on other companies to join us in safeguarding the reproductive freedom and privacy of employees and upholding this basic human right.”

Adding a list of organisations which support reproductive rights to its statement, NCG said: “Access to reproductive health care allows individuals to determine their own life course, including when and whether to continue their education, pursue a career and have children.”

Polling suggests this view is supported by the vast majority of Americans, it said. “These decisions should be made by individuals and their doctors. As such, we oppose any law or regulation that restricts or criminalises people’s access to reproductive health care.”