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Writers Guilds Condemn Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court building
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Image credit: Supreme Court of the United States)

The writers of broadcast, cable, streaming and film content have come out strongly against the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, saying the decision announced Friday (June 24) — but leaked weeks ago — will lead to injury and death.

In a statement, the leadership of the Writers Guild of America East and West unions said they jointly condemned the decision overturning the landmark 1973 ruling establishing constitutional protection for abortion rights as a blow to “reproductive rights and the freedom of choice.”

“[T]his court has chosen to ignore public opinion and to violate the privacy and health of a vast percentage of the American population,” the statement read. “This decision will lead to injury, death and the denial of basic human rights that allow Americans to lead the lives they choose without fear of interference or bodily harm. We now look to the states to enforce existing law or to act to pass new legislation that will protect against the Supreme Court’s misguided and harmful decision.”

Many states have signaled they will go in the opposite direction, with abortion-ban legislation that is triggered by the Supreme Court decision.

President Joe Biden agreed with WGAE about the risk to women, saying in his statement on the decision: “[W]ith Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk.” He also laid the responsibility squarely on his predecessor. “It was three justices named by one president — Donald Trump — who were the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country,” he said.

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Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer called on Congress and tech companies to protect abortion patients from surveillance and data collection and suggested the court's decision made it even more important not to weaken Section 230 protections for social media platform content. Greer said that in a “post-Roe world,” weakening those protections for third-party content would “lead to widespread shutdowns of online spaces used by people seeking and providing abortions.”

Greer also called out Big Tech for opposing bipartisan data privacy legislation currently working its way through Congress. "Tech companies can't claim to support abortion rights while actively fighting against common-sense privacy legislation that would protect abortion patients,” he said. “If Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. really care about reproductive rights, they should immediately fire the army of lobbyists they currently employ who are working around the clock to undermine strong privacy legislation nationally and in the states.” ▪️

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.