The largest flight attendant union in the United States has waded into the pro-choice/pro-life abortion debate following Politico’s now authenticated leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn longheld abortion rights.
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) called the decision to overturn legally enshrined abortion rights in the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade a “radical assault on our rights”.
The Association of Flight Attendants represents more than 50,000 flight attendants across the U.S. including United Airlines, Alaska, Spirit and Frontier. AFA is also forging ahead with a renewed bid to unionize flight attendants at Delta Air Lines.
“The Justices who wrote this draft opinion —will not stop here,” Nelson warned on Tuesday. “They will work to strip Americans of other freedoms we have fought for.”
“They will strip the freedom to marry from our LGBTQ colleagues and neighbors. They will strip away our rights to birth control. They have already gutted the right to vote, and our right to fair elections free of corporate influence. Our union will continue fighting for equality and freedom for all,” she continued.
The firebrand union leader has been a fierce advocate for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and her opinions are firmly on the left of the political spectrum. She does, however, acknowledge that flight attendants represented by AFA might not agree with the union’s stance on this issue.
But Nelson likens the right to choose as enshrined in Roe v. Wade to the work that AFA did to grant women rights and equality within the aviation industry.
“Cabin crew fought executives who exploited our sexuality and pushed gender inequality to undermine the dignity of our work and push the value of our labor into their own pockets,” Nelson said.
“Choice and self-determination are at the foundation of why we formed our union 75 years ago… Airlines only hired white, single, childless women under age 32 who met specific height, weight, and male-defined appearance standards”.
She is now calling on airline executives to speak out against the Supreme Court’s draft opinion. Even normally political airlines like Delta are yet to comment, however, on the abortion debate.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.