United Auto Workers Drops Request for Coverage of Elective Abortions

In response to an outcry from anti-abortion union members, the United Auto Workers dropped their request for elective abortion coverage in contract negotiations with Detroit’s automakers. The UAW had asked for coverage of birth control and voluntary or elective abortions in their health care benefits during their confidential contract negotiations with DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group, Ford Motors, Visteon, General Motors, and Delphi. The Detroit Free Press reports that the UAW had quietly asked for elective abortion coverage in the past, and President Ron Gettelfinger was angry that both union and company sources had leaked the proposal to the news for the first time. When the proposal was leaked, anti-abortion worker groups and individuals contacted the UAW and the automakers to voice their opposition and they circulated petitions among workers, the Free Press continued.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the provision adding health care coverage of contraceptive medication and devices remains in the final contract that workers are currently voting on. According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), women of reproductive age throughout the US continue to pay more out-of-pocket health care costs than men because of reproductive health expenses not covered by insurance plans.

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Feminist Daily News Wire; Detroit Free Press 9/25/03; Lansing State Journal 9/24/03; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 9/26/03

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