In a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) railed against corporations that have advocated against recent pro-life restrictions on abortion.
Cotton’s remarks follow the release of an open letter opposing abortion restrictions, signed by hundreds of CEOs, and published in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times. The senator also discussed recent threats to boycott Georgia by media companies like Disney, Netflix, and WarnerMedia in retaliation for the state’s pro-life legislation.
Cotton accused powerful corporations of unduly wielding their influence in the political sphere, and attempting to impose their ideology on pro-life states.
"The loudest objections to these pro-life laws haven’t come from the bottom up—from normal citizens who happen to disagree with one another," Cotton said. "But from the top down. From cultural elites, and increasingly from giant corporations who wield their economic power as a weapon to punish the American people for daring to challenge their pro-abortion extremism."
Sen. Cotton took particular issue with a line in the New York Times advertisement, wherein CEOs warned that abortion restrictions are "bad for business." Cotton argued that the use of the phrase reveals that corporations favor profit interests over families and the lives of unborn babies.
"Not everything can be measured on a corporate balance sheet," Cotton said. "Some things are bigger and more important than the bottom line or what wealthy politically correct corporations consider bad for business. The cause of life is one of those issues worth fighting for."
Cotton voiced concern that corporate activism endangers the ability of citizens to achieve their democratic will on the issue of abortion. The senator’s home state of Arkansas passed a bill in March banning most abortions after 18 weeks.
Cotton also posited that pro-choice pressure on states emanated from companies and individuals that live in political bubbles, and do not reflect the attitudes of most Americans.
"These companies want to wield a veto power over the democratic debate and decisions of Arkansans and citizens across our country. They want to force the latest social fashions of the coasts on small towns they would never visit in a million years."