In the wake of the abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, more than 180 CEOs have signed an open—and very public—letter opposing such laws and regulations. While a group of female CEOs raised their voices last month, this group of CEOs includes men and women fighting to keep the government out of medical decisions.
The letter appeared as a full-page ad in Monday’s edition of The New York Times under the heading “Don’t Ban Equality,” and sent a clear message that restricting access to reproductive care, including abortion, is “against our values, and is bad for business.”
In the letter, they argue that limiting access to comprehensive care, threatens “the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers.” The letter says such restrictive legislation inhibits their “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 day out.”
It was signed by CEOs from diverse industries, including Twitter and Square, Bloomberg LP, Slack, Tinder, Seventh Generation, Atlantic Records/Warner Media Group, Warby Parker, Yelp, The Standard, The Body Shop, Trillium Asset Management, Aspiration, Glossier and a lot more, including many of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies.
While some CEOs may see publicly taking a stance in favor of reproductive freedom as risky, many customers admire activist CEOs. A 2017 survey conducted by public relations firm Weber Shandwick found that 47% of millennials and 28% of Gen Xers and boomers believe CEOs have a responsibility to speak up about issues that are important to society.
Additionally, as Fast Company reported, a recent survey found that about two-thirds of full-time employees over the age of 25 believe women’s reproductive freedom is key to their success in the workplace, and that companies should publicly show their support for women’s reproductive rights. In that same survey, 60% said they would be more loyal to a company that helped cover prenatal care, family planning, and abortion care.