Pennsylvania language teacher Linda Misja is suing the Pennsylvania State Education Association for refusing to let her donate her dues to a pro-life charity, Life News reports.
State law requires non-union teachers like Misja to pay “fair-share fees” but allows her to donate that money to a non-religious charity instead of directly to the PSEA. She chose People Concerned for the Unborn Child, but the union rejected her choice on the grounds that, because it opposes abortion, it does not endorse every pregnancy option. PSEA has now held Misja’s money, $2,000, in an escrow account in her name for over three years.
According to David Osborne of the Fairness Center, which has taken up Misja’s case, “Pennsylvania law allows Linda, a bona fide religious objector to unionism, to donate the equivalent of her union’s ‘fair share’ fee to a non-religious charity agreed upon by her and the union,” and PSEA’s refusal to honor her choice and instead hold her dues constitute “a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.”
“Plain and simple, it is my money that I worked hard for,” Misja said. “It’s been a worry for me that my money might be going to support causes that go against my deep personal beliefs. I was quite shocked.”
The National Education Association, under which PSEA operates, officially endorses abortion as “the right to reproductive freedom,” and its political action committee donates to pro-abortion advocacy groups such as Emily’s List.