Nearly 200 CEOs, from some of the most influential multi-national companies, have signed a powerful open letter, stating that restricting abortion in the US is “bad for business”.
The CEOs come from a number of industries including technology, fashion, energy and banking and together, represent more than 108,000 workers.
The letter, part of the Don’t Ban Equality Campaign, was published in a full-page ad in the New York Times and urges lawmakers across the US to reconsider the restrictive abortion laws, pressing the business case for gender equality and reproductive rights.
“Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers,” the open letter states.
“The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk.”
“We, the undersigned, represent more than 108,000 workers and stand against policies that hinder people’s health, independence and ability to fully succeed in the workplace.”
The open letter comes just weeks after Alabama’s state senate voted to outlaw abortion as part of the systematic restriction of women’s reproductive rights in the US. The bill, named the Human Life Protection Act, prohibits abortion or attempted abortion in the state, except “in cases where abortion in necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”
It is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in US history.
Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp recently signed the fetal heartbeat bill, legislation that prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an embryo. Many other states have also passed similar ‘heartbeat bills’.
The Don’t Ban Equality campaign follows boycotting action from several major film and media companies, including Netflix, Walt Disney Co. and Sony, that have said they are reconsidering filming and investing in states where ‘heartbeat bills’ have been passed.
“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters.
Don’t Ban Equality.
It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.
We’re joining with 175 other companies to stand against policies that hinder people’s health & ability to fully succeed in the workplace.
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) June 10, 2019