Business Leaders Buy NYT Ad Protesting Pro-Life Laws

Signee H&M has locations in Jordan, UAE

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June 10, 2019

More than 180 business leaders took out an advertisement in Monday's New York Times protesting abortion restrictions as "against our values," CNN reported.

The full-page ad included endorsements from representatives of Yelp, Postmates, Bloomberg LP, and Tinder. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, also signed on, although it was on behalf of his other company, Square. The ad is accompanied by a website titled "Don't Ban Equality," where the ad is displayed in full. It claims that restricting access to "comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion" is against the group's values and "bad for business." It also claims that anti-abortion laws impair companies' ability to develop diverse and inclusive workforces.

A coalition that includes the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America organized the advertisement. NARAL applauded the move in a statement.

Vikrum Aiyer, the vice president of public policy at Postmates, said in an interview with CNN Business that the company is preparing for some backlash from customers, but standing up for its values "matters more to us."

The head of inclusion and diversity for the clothing-retail store H&M also signed the ad. H&M has four locations open in Jordan, where abortion is criminalized with exceptions for fetal impairment. The company also has several locations in the United Arab Emirates, where abortion is only permitted in a case of fetal abnormality that is not "compatible with life."

A wave of pro-life legislation in several states such as Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky has pushed the issue of abortion into the spotlight. Georgia and Alabama's laws are among the most pro-life laws in the country, banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Other major companies have threatened action following the passage of the heartbeat bill in Georgia, with Netflix executive Ted Sarandos saying that the company would "rethink our entire investment" in the state if the law is not struck down. Disney CEO Bob Iger also stated that it would be "very difficult" to continue to film in Georgia, despite the fact that the corporation has filmed in Jordan and the UAE with no record of comments on those countries' restrictive abortion laws. Disney has also used locations in Bolivia, where abortion is illegal with exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.

Published under: Abortion