Split in Stance Over Roe v. Wade Reversal Among Corporate Executives

By Hannah Ng
Hannah Ng
Hannah Ng
Reporter
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
June 30, 2022 Updated: June 30, 2022

Corporate executives have shown divided opinions over the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) verdict striking down the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

Some have rebuked the overturn, while others have chosen to stay mum about the subject.

Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud-based content management platform Box, expressed his disappointment with the June 24 ruling that will hand back matters of abortion to the state level, and shared on Twitter the company’s statement that affirms its commitment to provide “critical reproductive healthcare services” to its employees.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said she believes reproductive rights are human rights that every woman should be entitled to, and called the SCOTUS decision to pass legislative powers on abortion laws back to the states a “devastating setback.”

“As a CEO, I recognize there are a spectrum of opinions on the SCOTUS ruling today. As a woman, it’s a devastating setback. I personally believe every woman should have a choice about how and when to become a mother. Reproductive rights are human rights,” she wrote.

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Google’s chief people officer Fiona Cicconi informed the company’s staff that “U.S. benefits plan and health insurance covers out-of-state medical procedures that are now not available where an employee lives and works.”

Googlers were also told that they can “apply for relocation without justification,” in an email reported by The Verge.

California, the state where the company’s headquarter is located, has made it clear that they will continue with their pro-abortion policies.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t yet made any comment on the ruling.

Meanwhile, Meta’s departing chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg took to Facebook to condemn the decision a huge setback and called for a fight against it.

“For ourselves, our daughters, and every generation that follows, we must keep up the fight. Together, we must protect and expand abortion access,” she wrote.

At the same time, Meta, citing its policy that prohibits social, political, and sensitive conversations, warned employees against discussing the issue on its internal system. Otherwise, their messages will be deleted.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also been silent on the matter. But the company has reportedly notified staff members that it is up to them to make their own decisions in relation to reproductive health, and its medicare plan will cover out-of-state travel where necessary to access such procedures.

According to eBay, its benefits were enhanced starting June 8, allowing employees and their dependents to be compensated for travel expenses within the United States in order to seek abortion care if it is not readily available where they live, Techcrunch reported.

Netflix applies the same policy, stating it will “offers travel reimbursement coverage for U.S. full-time employees and their dependents who need to travel for cancer treatment, transplants, gender-affirming care, or abortion through our U.S. health plans.”

With that, each employee and their dependents are eligible for up to $10,000 in lifetime allowance for each health service.

Yet to Comment

Among the Big Tech companies, Twitter declined to comment. Elon Musk, the platform’s to-be owner, has also yet to comment on the ruling. Yet, Tesla has made clear that their company’s benefits cover out of state travel expense for employees seeking an abortion.

Joining the list of those that have not voiced an opinion in the aftermath of the verdict are Walmart, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Wendy’s, The New York Times reported.

The study from consumer research company Forrester attributed the hesitation to weigh in on the debate to the fear of an adverse reaction that could emerge afterwards.

Hannah Ng
Reporter
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.