National Co+Op Grocers (NCG), which has 148 member co-ops operating more than 200 stores in 38 states, issued a statement expressing its support of reproductive rights following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
Included in its statement, NCG said it has expanded its employee health services to provide travel benefits for employees and dependents in states with restrictive abortion laws to ensure all staff have equal access to necessary healthcare regardless of where they live.
The following is the statement in its entirety:
“NCG affirms the human right of bodily autonomy and the liberty for women, transgender and nonbinary people to make decisions about their own bodies, including healthcare decisions.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its intention to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue to state control. Such an action will jeopardize this human right for millions of people, including NCG and co-op staff, and will disproportionately harm those without the economic means to travel to states where abortions are legally, safely, and respectfully performed. In turn, this will further compound the systemic socio-economic disparities that exist in the U.S. healthcare system, especially in maternal health, and particularly for queer people, people in the disability community and people of color. In 2021, nineteen states passed 108 laws restricting abortion access and there are more such laws on state dockets in 2022.
“Access to reproductive healthcare allows individuals to determine their own life course, including when and whether to continue their education, pursue a career and have children. The vast majority of Americans agree, as do we, that these decisions should be made by individuals and their doctors (source). As such, we oppose any law or regulation that restricts or criminalizes people’s access to reproductive healthcare.
“NCG is committed to safeguarding reproductive rights for our staff and has expanded our employee health services to provide travel benefits for employees and dependents in states with restrictive abortion laws to ensure all staff have equal access to necessary healthcare regardless of where they live.
“We call on other companies to join us in safeguarding the reproductive freedom and privacy of employees and upholding this basic human right."
NCG also included a list of organizations it urged pro-choice supporters to consider donating to.
Founded in 1999 and based in St. Paul, Minn., NCG is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops throughout the United States. The organization looks to help co-ops optimize their operational and marketing resources, strengthen their purchasing power and offer more value to food co-op owners and shoppers across the country, according to its website.