Acton Institute Powerblog

Right to Work: The UAW and Planned Parenthood Make Common Cause

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Video: UAW President Bob King thanks Planned Parenthood, environmentalists, clergy, et al., at anti Right-To-Work Protest looks at the — at first blush as least — strange alliance between the United Auto Workers union and Planned Parenthood on the Michigan Right to Work issue. Elise Hilton of the Acton Institute, interviewed by LifeSiteNews reporter Kirsten Andersen, says that the UAW, Planned Parenthood and other like minded groups are afraid that right-to-work laws will help defund the progressive agenda.

“I don’t think people outside of maybe the leadership of the UAW or Planned Parenthood know about the strong ties between unions and Planned Parenthood,” Hilton told “I don’t think they realize that the president of Planned Parenthood was the keynote speaker for the UAW conference, or that the UAW says on their own website that they ‘strenuously support a woman’s right to choose.’”

The ties between unions and the pro-choice movement go beyond mutual support. The leadership of the two groups overlaps, as well.

Last year, the UAW appointed Mary Beth Cahill director of its national political efforts. Cahill had previously spent five years running EMILY’s list, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing pro-abortion politicians.

UAW President Bob King showered Cahill with praise for her efforts, saying, “During her five years at EMILY’s List, she helped turn the pro-choice PAC into an unrivaled political powerhouse—the largest in the country at the time.”

Read the entire article, with more analysis from Hilton, here.

John Couretas John Couretas is Director of Communications, responsible for print and online communications at the Acton Institute. He has more than 20 years of experience in news and publishing fields. He has worked as a staff writer on newspapers and magazines, covering business and government. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.


  • Actually we should call this “anti-choice in the workplace”.

  • Detroit News: UAW chief admits some mistakes in pushing Prop 2 despite Snyder’s warnings

    Everybody knew what was coming.

    In the interview, King twice said it is “accurate” to say Gov. Rick Snyder explicitly warned him that Republicans in the Legislature likely would push right-to-work legislation in the lame-duck session if labor ignored the GOP majority in both houses, pressed ahead and filed petitions to place Proposal 2 on the November ballot.

    “I talked to the governor and we both wanted to find a path” to keep “divisive” right-to-work bills from coming to the floor of the Legislature, the UAW president said. “We told him we heard they were going to do it in lame duck. We had that discussion before the petitions were filed.”

    The GOP’s right-to-work Blitzkrieg in the state Legislature, begun and ended in five days, is a historic blunder by King and his union associates. Or it’s the unintended consequence of his zeal to become a bigger political kingpin than his predecessor, including doing what it takes in an election year to deliver successfully Michigan’s 15 electoral votes to help re-elect President Barack Obama. Or it’s both.

    King has “broken out of the bounds of the usual labor leader,” says Art Schwartz, a retired General Motors Co. labor negotiator who has known King since the early 1980s. “Bob has a long history of being involved in what you call the ‘liberal left.’ Ron Gettelfinger,” King’s predecessor, “was focused on the bounds of contracts and his membership. He’s much more of a politico than Gettelfinger ever was.”