Planned Parenthood seeks to unionize in Mass. 

  • A Nurse Practitioner works in an office at a Planned Parenthood clinic where she confers via teleconference with patients seeking self-managed abortions as containers of the medication used to end an early pregnancy sits on a table nearby Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fairview Heights, Ill. AP FILE PHOTO/JEFF ROBERSON

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2022 1:51:45 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Employees at the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts are looking to unionize with 1199SEIU, and have filed for a union election.

A majority of employees at PPLM, which has locations in Springfield, Worcester, Marlborough and Boston; have signed union cards and went public with their effort Wednesday. A date for the union’s election has not yet been set, and the size of the proposed unit would be close to 200 people.

Employees at Planned Parenthood, a national reproductive health nonprofit, have unionized with SEIU already in New York, Maine, Washington D.C., and Colorado.

Danielle Smith, of Greenfield, recently started working for PPLM in Springfield and is a supporter of the union effort. She said that a lot of employees are leaving PPLM, and that given the uncertain future of abortion rights there may be a flood of people seeking abortion care at PPLM from other states in the future.

“We don’t want to have tons of turnover,” said Smith, who is also a nurse at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. 

Tim Foley, 1199SEIU executive vice president, said in a statement that Planned Parenthood employees “have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and the fight to ensure access for reproductive freedom in Massachusetts and across this country. This is a critical moment in our country for reproductive health, and Planned Parenthood workers are leading the way and they deserve to have a seat at the table.”

PPLM President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak has released a statement on the unionization effort.

“As an organization that has always prioritized personal choice and agency in people's personal lives, we respect and encourage our staff to exercise the same informed personal choices about their professional lives,” Childs-Roshak said. “PPLM is proud to be the leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care in Massachusetts, and our staff are the bedrock of that care. At this pivotal moment for abortion access, we look forward to having these conversations and continuing to support our staff and expand our ability to serve our patients.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at
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