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Article

19 May 2022

Author:
Pavithra Mohan & Julia Herbst, Fast Company

USA: Company survey indicates corporate America reluctant to talk about abortion despite potential impacts on workers if access is restricted

"Why corporate America is afraid to talk about abortion," 16 May 2022

... Starting in March [2022], in anticipation of the Court’s final decision [on Roe v. Wade], Fast Company reached out to nearly 200 major companies. We solicited feedback about how these businesses view abortion access, the policies they have in place around abortion care, and how they plan to respond to the likely fall of Roe v. Wade.

... Only 15 companies—Adobe, Box, Cisco, DoorDash, GoDaddy, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Lyft, Patagonia, Reddit, Snap, Uber, Yelp, Zendesk, and Zillow—were willing to respond to our survey on the record. ​​In fact, six of those respondents only participated in the survey following the leak on May 2.

... [S]everal said that employees had expressed concerns about access to abortion care; in one case, as a direct response to the Texas ban, which barred abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Most respondents said they would support employees who needed to travel out of state to access care, or were making plans to do so. Every responding company’s insurance plan covered birth control and abortion.

... Overall, 26 companies declined to participate, while a staggering 150 others did not respond to repeated queries over several months.

... Nearly one in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime, which makes this an issue that touches virtually every company’s workforce. 

Companies also have an obligation to their employees because so many workers obtain health insurance through their employer.

... Access to abortion, and all reproductive care, allows people who can get pregnant the ability to fully participate in the labor force, especially in a country with no paid leave or universal childcare. The impact of access has been even more significant for Black women, who have seen a marked increase in workforce participation since Roe. Women who were unable to get an abortion were three times more likely to be unemployed after six months when compared to women with abortion access ... .

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