With the future of abortion uncertain, Mass. Planned Parenthood workers are unionizing

Reproductive rights are closely linked to labor rights, both of which give people more control of their lives and allow them to thrive economically.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff File
Planned Parenthood in Boston. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff File

Workers at the four Planned Parenthood clinics in Massachusetts are organizing a union, an effort that has taken on new urgency as the fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.

If the Supreme Court overturns the decision, as expected, clearing the way for at least 26 states to ban or severely limit abortion, workers in locations where the procedure will remain legal, such as Massachusetts, are anticipating an influx of patients from other states. This added workload will increase pressure on already understaffed clinics with underpaid staff, employees say. Being part of a union will help support existing workers and bring in new ones, they note — and would benefit patients, too.


“We have been expecting Roe to fall,” said Cara Callahan, a patient navigator at the Springfield reproductive health care clinic. “It’s really looking like the amount of patients that we have is going to go up, and because we are still dealing with some of the effects of the pandemic, including short-staffing, we want to be able to care for these patients in a safe way.”

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