After decades of carefully avoiding the taboo subject, more and more US corporations are taking a stand on abortion rights, a sign of a new generation with growing influence and very different expectations than their predecessors. A variety of American businesses began to react publicly just hours after a draught Supreme Court opinion indicating that the national right to abortion would be overturned was leaked.
Given what is at stake, business leaders must “make their voices heard and act to protect our employees’ health and well-being,” Levi Strauss said in a statement. “That entails defending reproductive rights.”
Apple, like the iconic denim brand, has pledged to cover the costs of employees who must travel to another state for work.
Removing the right to abortion nationwide “will jeopardise the human rights of millions of women,” the review platform Yelp told AFP, adding that it would have a “seismic impact on our society and economy” and urging other businesses to “step up to safeguard their employees.”
Since Texas implemented a law prohibiting abortion after six weeks – before many women even realise they are pregnant, and with no exceptions for rape or incest – the stigma surrounding speaking out has begun to fade.
Amazon, Uber, and even the bank Citigroup have all stated that they will cover any additional costs incurred by their employees as a result of the Texas legislation.
We’re in an unusual political period in which this issue has resurfaced as a pressing political issue, and it will force businesses to take a stand “said Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Businesses located in states that may overturn (abortion access) must make a decision: Are they going to offer that value in terms of travel to a location where those facilities could be accessed? Are they, or are they not?” Neeru Paharia, a professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, agreed.
“It forces a lot of these (companies) to take a position on this issue.”
According to The New York Times, Tesla, which recently relocated its headquarters from California to Texas, has also promised to cover its employees’ abortion-related costs.