Why American companies are taking a stand on the right to abortion, threatened in the United States

After carefully avoiding this taboo subject for decades, more and more American companies are taking a stand on abortion rights, a sign of the emergence of a new generation with different expectations.

It took just hours after the leak announcing the Supreme Court’s possible reversal on the abortion issue for part of the American economy to publicly react.

The sequel after the announcement

Gloria Steinem on abortion: “Control of women’s bodies is an early symptom of authoritarianism”

“Knowing what is at stake, business leaders must speak up and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees”wrote Levi Strauss officials. “This involves protecting reproductive rights. » Like the famous jeans maker, Apple is committed to covering the costs incurred by its employees who must travel to another state to carry out a voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG).

Return to abortion rights “would jeopardize the rights of millions of women”told AFP the participatory search platform Yelp, which refers to “an earthquake for our society and our economy” and invites companies to ” start “.

“general trend”

Since the entry into force, in September, in Texas, of a new law that reduces the time to perform an abortion to six weeks, the taboo has been broken and Amazon, Uber or the bank Citigroup have announced that they will bear the additional costs . that this text can induce for its employees.

“We are living in an atypical moment politically and this issue has become paramount again, which will force companies to present themselves”says Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at Wharton University in Pennsylvania.

The sequel after the announcement

Abortion: clash at the top between the two Americas

“Companies located in states that could go backwards (in access to abortion) must decide whether or not to cover the associated costs (…), which forces them to take a de facto position”, says Neeru Paharia, a professor at Georgetown University. According to The New York Times, Tesla, which has just moved its headquarters from California to Texas, has agreed to reimburse these expenses.

The new audacity of some American companies is also linked to the fact that “In this country, people in favor (of the right to abortion) outnumber those who are opposed to it”, recalls Neeru Paharia. For her, the advertisements of several leading companies fit “in a general trend” at work for about ten years and that “really grew up in the Trump era”.

Immigration, LGBT community rights, gun laws, movement “Black lives matter”access to the right to vote… The contentious issues took place in a climate of exacerbated polarization, and many companies were pressured to react by some of their employees.

Attract the best employees

“It’s a question of generation”says Mark Hass, professor at Arizona State University:

The sequel after the announcement

“Millennials, Generation Z (born since the late 1990s) are increasingly concerned about the values ​​of their company. Apple, Amazon or Uber want to have the best professionals. Thus, your employees serve as a compass. »

“The job market is tight and some qualifications are hard to find”, adds Neeru Paharia. Employers’ expectations have also risen, she said, in a country where trust in the political system has been deteriorating for many years.

Maurice Schweitzer makes a distinction between the new economy’s flagships, whose employees are more skilled than average and can often work from anywhere, and more traditional companies, sometimes established in more conservative regions. The latter often have less mobile and less skilled workers, whose influence with their employer is often more limited. “This is a key reason why tech companies, for example, will move” about abortion, he said, “while others will try to stay away. »

Conservatives keep calm

Contrary to some precedents, companies that took sides publicly generally escaped backlash (called boycotts or smear campaigns).

-50% in the first year with Google

By choosing this promotional subscription path, you accept the deposit of an analytics cookie by Google.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a bill that would prevent companies from benefiting from tax breaks on their expenses related to paying for travel for an abortion, but it has little chance of success.

The sequel after the announcement

Questioning abortion in the United States: 5 questions about the Supreme Court bill

“People who want to restrict access to abortion are in the minority and seem to be winning victories now”analyzes Maurice Schweitzer. “So I’m not surprised that (the Conservatives) are pretty calm. »

Leave a Comment