With Roe v. Wade Overturned, Companies Stay Silent on Abortion

With Roe v. Wade Overturned, Companies Stay Silent on Abortion


Companies had more than a month to prepare a response to the abolition of federal abortion rights in the United States, if they did not consider it immediately after a draft opinion came to light in May.

But when the final decision came Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization On Friday, relatively few people had anything to say about the results.

Most remained silent, including some companies known for talking about social issues such as the Black Life Meter and LGBTQ rights. Some corporations that blacked out their Instagram pages in 2020 or featured rainbow flags on their websites for Pride Month have so far been reluctant to comment. Abortion.

“Executives are feeling a bit nervous around it,” said Dave Flatt, head of global digital crisis at Edelman, a consulting firm. “They are worried about the reaction because they know there is no way to please everyone.”

Many businesses that made public statements on Friday chose to address the way they were affected by the Supreme Court ruling. Workers’ access to health care. In some cases, they even avoided the word “abortion”, perhaps for the sake of a more delicious response.

Disney executives wrote to staff in a memo, “We have a process to ensure that an employee who is unable to access care in one location has access to affordable coverage in another location.” “Disney executives wrote a memo to staff, including” Family planning (including pregnancy decisions).

Other companies that came forward on Friday to say they would cover employees’ travel expenses for the abortion include Warner Bros., CondyNast, BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Goldman Sachs, Snap, Macy’s, Intuit and Dicks Sporting. Goods are included. Joined a group including Starbucks, Tesla, Yelp, Airbnb, Netflix, Patagonia, DoorDash, JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss & Co., PayPal, OKCupid, Citigroup, Kroger, Google, Microsoft, Paramount, Nike, Chobani, Lyft and Reddit who had previously implemented similar policies. (Google also told employees that they can “apply for relocation without any justification.”)

Mr Fleet added that employers are the way many people access the healthcare system. “You see, companies look inwards first.”

Some companies have come up with statements about these policy changes. Roger Lynch, head of Cond کون Nast, called the decision “a crushing blow to reproductive rights.” The Left said the decision would “hurt millions of women.” BuzzFeed’s chief executive, Jonah Parrett, called it “regressive and terrible.” Some business leaders also spoke with Microsoft co-founder and former chief executive Bill Gates, calling the decision “an unfair and unacceptable blow” and quoting Sheryl Sandberg, the outgoing chief operating officer of Meta. The danger is that women should undo the progress they have made in the workplace.

But many companies that have spoken out on social issues such as racism have not responded to requests for comment or declined to comment following the Supreme Court ruling, including Target, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Delta and Wendy’s. Hobby lobby, which brought in 2014 Successful case in the Supreme Court Challenging whether to include contraceptives in the healthcare provided by the employer, he declined to comment on Dobbs’ decision.

There has been a growing expectation in recent years that companies will consider political and social issues. According to consumer research firm Forster, the share of online American adults who feel they have a responsibility to participate in discussions about current corporate issues has grown over the past year. Expectations among young social media users are even clearer, according to research. Anchor social.

When George Floyd was assassinated by police in 2020, public companies and their foundations pledged more than 49 49 billion to fight racial inequality. Last year, after Georgia’s Republican-led legislature restricted voter access, some chief executives, including Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, Criticized the law.And published by 72 black business leaders Letter Urging corporate leaders to “publicly oppose any discriminatory legislation.”

Regarding abortion, public opinion is slightly different: Forrester found that fewer respondents believe that companies should take a stand on abortion. Polls consistently found that the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, but A recent survey The Pew Research Center has found that people have a broad view of ethics on the subject. Companies are afraid of the backlash that could come from taking a stand on the issue.

“When it comes to political issues in the realm of brand influence, some people are as divisive and deeply personal as abortion,” said Mike Prolux, Forrester’s vice president and research director.

Political engagement is rarely a straightforward choice for company leaders. Disney, which was Avoided partisan politics for a long time.Faced an internal backlash this year when it did not take a hard line on Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” law, but Florida lawmakers revoked its special tax benefits. When it did. John Gibson, chief executive of gaming company TripWire Interactive, has been fired after speaking out in favor of a Texas ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

A 2020 the study Of the 149 firms published in the Journal of Marketing, it was found that corporate activism had a negative effect on the company’s stock market performance, although it had a positive effect on sales if the activity was in line with the company’s consumer values.

The decision to engage and the decision not to engage can both come at a cost.

“You have to be careful not to take the wrong lessons from some of these moments,” said Mr Flat of Edelman. “It would be very easy to see companies that took the wrong step and say ‘well, we shouldn’t say anything’, when in fact some clients don’t say anything is a mistake that was made.”

Some companies warned employees on Friday to be careful about talking about governance in the workplace. “This decision will be hotly debated in public,” Citigroup’s head of human resources wrote to staff. “Please remember that we should always treat each other with respect, even when we have different opinions.”

Meta said publicly on Friday that he would pay travel expenses for employees to have abortions. But the company then told its employees not to openly discuss the court’s decision on extensive communications channels within the company, according to three employees, citing a policy that applies to the workplace. “Strong guards around social, political and sensitive dialogue.”

But there are other companies that have not stopped making more complete statements about abortion, and they are urging other businesses to adapt to their tone and commitment.

OkCupid encourages app users in states with abortion restrictions to contact their elected officials in support of abortion. Melissa Hubley, its global chief marketing officer, is working behind the scenes to find other women business leaders. Promise to support abortion..

“We had to eliminate the threat,” he said. “It’s an economic issue, it’s a marketing issue. If you’re in a highly competitive industry like tech, law, finance, you’re all fighting for women’s potential.

Jelly Stoppelman, Yelp’s chief executive, said he felt it was important to talk about access to abortion to see if it was a business venture, although he knew there would be consumers who would make that decision. Will oppose

“Certainly not everyone agrees when you talk about these issues,” he said. “As we looked at it, we felt strongly that it was the right thing to do,” he added. “It’s been 50 years since the law was enacted.”

Some business leaders say they are concerned about how abortion restrictions will affect their ability to hire workers, especially those whose companies 13 states. Which will prohibit immediate or very early abortion with reversal. These states are included. TexasWhere tech companies have gathered in recent years.

research Commissioned by The Tara Health Foundation found that two-thirds of college-educated workers surveyed would be discouraged from taking a job in Texas because of the abortion ban law, and for jobs in other states that have passed similar laws. Will not apply

“Employers like us can be the last line of defense,” said Sarah Jackal, chief operating officer of Civitech, a 55-member Texas-based company that develops technology tools for political campaigns. The company pledged to cover the travel expenses of employees in need of abortion immediately after the approval of the Texas ban, SB8.

Ms Jeckel said the policy has strong support from both employees and investors, although the company has denied that anyone has used it.

“It makes good business sense. There is no reason for us to put our employees in a position to choose between retaining their jobs or having an unwanted pregnancy,” he added.

Emily filter, Lauren Hersh, Mike Isaac, Kate Kelly, Ryan Mack, Benjamin Mullen And Katie Robertson Cooperation reporting.

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