In 2014, labor groups in the United States sent the Planned Parenthood abortion business nearly half a million dollars in donations. The Washington Free Beacon reports that federal disclosure forms show that the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), contributed $435,000 to the abortion company.
Now the unions are refusing to respond to questions about why they sent the organization money. The vice president at the National Right to Work Foundation, Patrick Semmons, said that union members can oppose abortion but cannot control what their dues to go toward. He explained, “Union bosses will continue to use workers’ dues money as a slush fund to support controversial causes and organizations as long as union officials are empowered to order a worker fired simply for refusing to pay money to the union.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the donations went toward Planned Parenthood’s political arm, with the AFSCME funding nearly half of the organization’s Democratic campaign in 2014. This is outrageous, especially in light of new revelations regarding their involvement with organ harvesting. In July, the Center for Medical Progress released four videos showing Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts and admitting to altering abortion procedures to obtain salable organs for harvesting.
James Sherk, the senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation said that “most union members have no idea that their union donates their dues to the largest abortion provider in America.” He added, “Federal law does not require unions to get their members’ authorization before spending their dues on controversial causes. Union leaders have wide discretion to spend their members’ money as they like.”
As LifeNews previously reported, in Pennsylvania a public school teacher is suing the state’s education association for preventing her from giving her mandated union dues to a pro-life organization. The teacher, Linda Misja, said the following about her lawsuit against the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA): “Plain and simple, it is my money that I worked hard for. I need my money to go to a charity in which I believe—one of my own choosing—not one a group tells me it has to go to. That, to me, is not freedom.”
In 2012, the PSEA was given the right to charge non-union members with “fair-share fees” since they benefit from contract negotiations. However, under state law, Linda isn’t required to pay those funds directly to the PSEA; instead, she has to pay the equivalent of that money to a charity both parties can agree on. The Pittsburgh Tribune Reports that Misja has been trying to find a middle ground on non-religious charities she can donate to but has been unsuccessful thus far.
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Misja’s attorney, David Osborne from the Fairness Center, said, “Pennsylvania law allows Linda, a bona fide religious objector to unionism, to donate the equivalent of her union’s ‘fair share’ fee to a non-religious charity agreed upon by her and the union. But the union has held Linda’s money in lieu of union fees in escrow for more than three years rather than allow it to reach her chosen charity—a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.”
Apparently the PSEA believes that the pro-life charity Misja chose, People Concerned for the Unborn Child, isn’t legitimate because they don’t offer women every option regarding pregnancy. However, Misja believes they were rejected as an option for political reasons.