Marketing

A week after the Roe v. Wade draft came out, here’s how companies are (and aren’t) responding

Most major companies are still staying quiet, but some are offering to help employees cover travel expenses for out-of-state abortions.
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Cyndi Monaghan/Getty Images

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As we covered last week, many brands have stayed silent on the recent Roe v. Wade news.

Refresher: In response to restrictive anti-abortion laws in states like Texas and considering abortion would almost immediately become illegal in most cases in at least 13 states if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, brands including Levi’s, Amazon, Tesla, Citgroup, Yelp, and more have offered to help cover travel expenses for employees accessing out-of-state abortions in some capacity. Others, like OkCupid, Ben & Jerry’s, and Parade, have released more direct statements supporting reproductive rights.

However: Some of the largest companies in the world, like Meta and Google, have yet to comment publicly. And people are paying attention. “Public companies, whether they like it or not, are in the spotlight for this debate,” Carla Bevins, assistant teaching professor of business communication at Carnegie Mellon University, told CNBC.

Companies don’t always make these decisions in a vacuum: PR agency Zeno—a subset of Edelman that reps brands like Netflix and Coca-Cola—advised clients to “not take a stance you cannot reverse, especially when the decision is not final,” per an internal email seen by newsletter Popular Information.

Speaking of agencies: On Friday, WPP CEO Mark Read told employees via email that the holding company is updating health-care benefits at US agencies to include “‘consistent access to health care and resources,’ including abortion care,” Ad Age reported.

+1: At a CNBC event last week, Stacey Abrams said companies shouldn’t comment on political issues just for the sake of speaking out. “Performative value means nothing to me,” Abrams said. “It shouldn’t be performing values because you think that’s what people want to see from you.” For companies that do opt to take a public stance, she said that decision “should be because you can’t meet your own moral compass, can’t be respectful of your own moral core.”—PB and MS

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