Which companies donated to the Texas abortion law?
The silence from big companies in Texas as the abortion law passed speaks volumes about businesses' professed support for women's rights in the US.
The most draconian abortion law in the US has gone into effect this week. Abortion after six weeks of pregnancy is banned, a period where many women don't yet know they are even pregnant. Abortion is also banned even in cases of rape or incest. The law also encourages people to file lawsuits against those that practice these abortions and those who recommend others to having one, with reward of up to $10,000.
The law hasn't appeared from nowhere and it has been supported not just by conservative politicians and groups, but also many big businesses, who regularly profess their support for women's rights on social media. Their financial support over the years has been documented by Popular Information, a newsletter that regularly exposes company funding practices, has listed huge companies in America that have funded groups that support the law.
Even those companies which are silently standing by, not in terms of posting tweets but with real action like boycotts, are complicit in allowing the State government to trample over women's rights.
These companies bankrolled the sponsors of the abortion ban
AT&T - 301,000
Comcast/NBCUniversal - $58,250
CVS Health - $72,500
UnitedHealth Group - $90,000
Anthem - $87,250
At Anthem, we honor International Women’s Day, and continue to empower women within our own organization and in the communities we serve. But there’s still more to be done. Our CEO Gail Boudreaux reflects on this year’s theme: #ChooseToChallenge https://t.co/Vkp1I57dSy— Anthem, Inc. (@AnthemInc) March 8, 2021
Charter Communications - $313,000
USAA - $152,000
Farmers Insurance - $120,000
General Motors - $72,750
What businesses have been against the law?
Lyft, the car hailing company, have said they would donate $1 million dollars to Planned Parenthood, as well as setting up a legal fund to cover drivers who may be sued for taking people to abortion clinics.
Uber has said they will also create a legal fund for their drivers. Bumble, the dating company, sent a memo to employees. “The company generally does not take political stands unless it is relevant to our business,” CEO Shar Dubey said in the memo. “But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent.”
This is an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose. @Lyft is donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access. We encourage other companies to join us.— Logan Green (@logangreen) September 3, 2021
Why have companies been silent?
In modern consumer society, consumers are as much influenced by what they want to buy as the values companies have that they are buying from. Businesses in the past have influenced debates surrounding abortion, such as in Alabama in 2019 where 200 CEOs denounced the abortion laws there. But if the financial impact is not significant enough, the nbusinesses are likely to play along.
Companies have been willing to take stands against other civil rights issues in Texas recently, but it seems abortion doesn't factor into this. In terms of the restrictive voting laws, companies were quick to address the issue. For example, American Airlines told the New York Times’s DealBook the company had “hoped for a different outcome” and wanted legislation “making it easier to vote, not harder.” Perhaps companies, with the majority having male CEOs, just don't think it's an important enough issue.
Factoring into this, Texas has made a concerted effort in recent years to attract big business. Tesla has recently moved to the state from California, while Apple has recently built a new campus in Austin. Money talks, and as long as there isn't significant enough pressure on companies that will hurt their bottom line, then there probably won't be a greater pressure on the Texan government.
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