NEW YORK – More than 180 executives of important US companies demanded this Monday, in a full page ad in the New York Times, that a woman’s right to choose not be restricted because that affects equality in the workplace and is bad for business.
The message is signed by the CEOs of firms like Bloomberg, Yelp, H&M, Tinder and The Body Shop, and includes names like that of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and designer Diane Von Furstenberg, who call for “equality” for women in response to the “alarming trend of abortion bans passing in states across the country.”
Social organizations that have coordinated the campaign, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said in a note that restricting abortion “threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business.”
The executives, whose companies employ some 108,000 workers, allege that restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortions, “impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”
Anti-abortion forces launched an offensive over the last few weeks with the passing of laws in some 10 conservative states that ban the interruption of pregnancy in most cases, even when caused by rape or incest.
In the United States, abortion has been legal since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional any government interference in a woman’s decision about her pregnancy.
In recent years, however, the conservative movement has urged the high court, with its largely rightist justices, to ponder once more the constitutionality of abortion in hopes it will overturn the decision of 1973.
“The future of equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk,” said the note by the company representatives.
Among the firms backing the complaint are MAC Cosmetics, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Lush Fresh Homemade Cosmetics, the Kenneth Cole clothing brand, Rebecca Minkoff fashion design and accessories, the rag & bone fashion label, and the Amalgamated Bank.
The almost 200 companies behind the campaign, under the slogan in the press and on social networks of “Don’t Ban Equality,” tweeted that “equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time,” and invited others to support the cause.