- The top executives of 187 companies signed a full-page ad in The New York Times, published Monday, criticising new abortion restrictions passed by multiple US state legislatures.
- Banks, tech companies, fashion brands, and entertainment companies signed an open letter framing the issue as one of workplace equality, calling it “one of the most important business issues of our time.”
- Bloomberg, Ben & Jerry’s, Slack, Yelp, and Tinder were among the signatories.
- They said restrictions on reproductive services, including abortion, were “bad for business” and threatened “the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers.”
- The letter did not name any states, but Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama are among those where lawmakers recently signed restrictive abortion bans into law. None of the laws have taken effect.
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One hundred and eighty-seven companies have denounced states’ restrictions on abortion services and reproductive healthcare, describing such laws as “bad for business” and saying they’d make it difficult for the companies to protect their employees.
Banks, tech firms, media companies, and fashion brands jointly signed a full-page ad in The New York Times, published Monday, that said, “Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time.”
Signatories on the open letter – titled “Don’t Ban Equality” – included Bloomberg, Ben & Jerry’s, Postmates, H&M, Yelp, Atlantic Records & Warner Media Group, Tinder, and Slack.
“Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers,” the companies said in the letter, adding that they employed more than 108,000 workers.
“Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business,” they said. “It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”
— Allie Mullen (@allieallieM) June 10, 2019
Executives from MAC Cosmetics, Okta, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, and Amalgamated Bank were also among the signatories. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also signed the letter, though he did so under Square, his mobile-payment company.
A PDF of the full letter, as it appeared in The New York Times, is on the “Don’t Ban Equality” website, which includes information about new laws that restrict abortion access and allows more companies to sign the letter.
The US has experienced a surge in abortion bans, with lawmakers in numerous states voting to introduce more restrictive laws designed to test Supreme Court precedent. The ad does not identify any states.
Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama in April and May signed some of the most restrictive abortion bans in the US into law, though they all face court challenges and are yet to take effect.
The strictest law is in Alabama, where abortion would be banned and doctors could face prison time over the procedure, while other states have adopted “heartbeat” bills that would ban abortion starting five to six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.
“The future of equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses, and the economy at risk,” Monday’s letter said.
The companies were brought together by a campaign led by the abortion opponents Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
These groups say they “will continue to work together to provide opportunities for businesses and business leaders to help protect reproductive healthcare in the critical months and years to come.”
These companies join a growing list of companies that have signalled their unhappiness with harsher abortion laws.
Disney, Netflix, and AMC are among the entertainment companies that have indicated they would reconsider making movies and TV shows in Georgia if its law – which would ban abortion once a doctor can detect a heartbeat – takes effect.
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