Published on September 22, 2021
Several dozen U.S. companies have published a statement proclaiming their support for “reproductive healthcare” and suggesting that the Texas Heartbeat Act “bans equality” in the state.
The signatories include major corporations such as Yelp, Lyft, Madewell, Bumble, Benefit Cosmetics, Glossier, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Asana, and VICE Media. The statement argues that “policies that restrict reproductive health care go against our values and are bad for business,” and it alleges that state restrictions on abortion “cost state economies $105 billion dollars per year.”
It comes as little surprise that corporations would care first and foremost about their bottomline and oppose abortion restrictions at least in part because of the way in which they might undermine monetary gains.
Consider the main way in which this happens: Women who become pregnant and carry their children to term rather than seeking an abortion end up departing the workforce at least for some period of time. New mothers require some amount maternity leave, usually at the expense of the employer, and they often return as part-time workers, if they return at all.
In short, these companies are disturbed that restrictions on abortion sometimes result in women being women rather than participating in the workforce in the way corporations prefer, i.e., as if they were men.
Also of interest is the fact that, though it fixates on abortion — presumably of use only to those who can become pregnant — the statement declines to use the word “woman.” Instead, the companies announce that they “stand against policies that hinder people’s health.” (Emphasis added.)
What once would’ve been a prime moment to crow about “women’s rights” now occasions strange rhetorical twisting to avoid evoking even the thought of women. This is now typical among legal-abortion advocates who either are gender ideologues themselves or fear offending their allies. Indeed, the false notion that men can become pregnant is increasingly pervasive in progressive and even mainstream circles, and abortion proponents evidently have been convinced of its truth or feel the need to play along.
“The future of gender equality hangs in the balance,” intone companies who refuse to so much as utter the word “woman.”
At every level, and though it purports to support equality, the statement teems with anti-woman sentiment, not least of which is the offensive notion that the people formerly known as women must have access to abortion in order to succeed in the workplace.
Such an insinuation is offensive on two counts: First because it assumes that women can’t succeed without the right to enact violence against their own offspring, and second because it assumes that a woman’s foremost purpose is to serve the economy at all costs, even at the price of the life of her unborn child.
Alexandra DeSanctis is a staff writer for National Review and a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.