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24 Jan 2023

Rhia Ventures

USA: Shareholders file proposals addressing access to reproductive health care for 2023 proxy ballots

"Shareholders file numerous proposals addressing access to reproductive health care for 2023 proxy ballots", 24 Jan. 2023

In coordination with Rhia Ventures, investors have filed thirty-one (31) shareholder proposals addressing the intersections between corporate policy and reproductive health care, more than doubling the volume of last year's activity. 

The proposals addressed employer-provided insurance and benefits, data privacy, political spending, and related matters in various industries.

... "Rhia Ventures is working with a network of institutional investors who are intent on seeing that the companies they hold in their portfolios do all they can to ensure access to the best reproductive and maternal health care," said Rhia Ventures director of corporate engagement Shelley Alpern.

... In the 2022 proxy season, before last year's US Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion protections (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization), eleven proposals came to a vote concerning access to reproductive health care. Those proposals garnered significant support (30-47% of votes cast). Since the June ruling, more than 200 businesses have publicly disclosed or acknowledged improved benefits to support their employees as they navigate mounting obstacles to accessing abortion and other forms of reproductive health care.

... The proposals note that beyond a moral obligation to address these issues, business interests are at risk. With increased competition for goods and services amidst globalized markets, consumers support companies that address worker needs and critical reproductive health care and abortion access. And the disconnect between political spending and stated values can damage the reputation and diminish the brand value and relations with clients, consumers, and other stakeholders