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Week-long ‘Mother’s Day Strike’ set to protest overturn of Roe

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)
Dani Thayer, left, and Marina Lanae, right, both of Tulsa, Okla., hold pro-choice signs at the state Capitol, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma’s Republican-led state Legislature passed several anti-abortion restrictions in recent weeks, part of a movement in conservative states to curtail women’s reproductive rights. Anti-abortion lawmakers are hopeful the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court might even overturn the nationwide right that has existed for nearly 50 years.

TikTok users have planned a week-long women’s labor strike set to begin on Mother’s Day in protest of the leaked Supreme Court opinion set to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The strike aims to push the government to enact the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would establish a statutory right for health care providers to provide, and patients to receive, abortion care without restrictions, therefore codifying abortion rights protections into federal law.

Allison Kolarik, 38, came up with the idea for the strike, after learning of the leaked opinion, according to NBC News.

“My gut reaction was one of, ‘Of course they did’ … and then rage,” Kolarik, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, told NBC.

Kolarik, an apparel company owner from New Jersey, later posted a video to TikTok to their more than 62,000 followers calling for a “national women’s strike.” Kolarik also established an official website to push for more support.

Their movement went viral on the video-sharing platform and has garnered both support and critics, with the #MothersDayStrike2022 garnering over 550,000 views. Kolarik told NBC that at least 600,000 people have reached out via the website to express support for the strike.

Inspiration for the movement came from the 1975 Women’s Day Off in Iceland, said Kolarik, during which 90 percent of women left work to demonstrate the importance of women‘s contribution to society, according to the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

Kolarik and supporters have said large-scale economic action may be effective.

According to a 2017 Center for American Progress report, women’s paid labor contributes $7.6 trillion to the nation’s gross domestic product each year. It predicts that it would cost the country’s GDP almost $21 billion, and that does not include women’s unpaid domestic labor.

Kolarik said the strike “actually hurts the power structure — to stop the [circulation of] money.” 

However, some critics have complained that the strike was not well planned and that it excludes the needs of working-class people and people of color, such as tipped workers and small-business owners.

To ease those concerns, Kolarik set up links on their website to mutual aid resources and other ways to participate for those who cannot take time off work, according to NBC.

“So many people live hand-to-mouth, paycheck to paycheck, and cannot afford to miss a day of work, let alone a week of work,” Kolarik said.

The strike highlights the need for the Women’s Health Protection Act, which Democrats have pushed to enact in order to codify abortion rights. However, Democrats may not even have 50 votes to do so.

Tags abortion mothers day strike TikTok

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