A letter endorsed by the business leaders appeared as a full-page ad in Monday’s New York Times, declaring “it’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.”
They argue that limiting access to comprehensive care, “including abortion,” threatens “the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers.” The letter says strict abortion laws are “against our values” and impede corporate efforts to build diverse workforces.
The executives behind the letter were brought together by a coalition that includes the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Ilyse Hogue, NARAL’s president, said in a statement that the organization applauds the executives for “taking a stand on behalf of their employees, customers, and communities.”
“We encourage the entire business community to join us in protecting access to reproductive health care in the critical months and years to come,” she added.
Vikrum Aiyer, vice president of public policy at Postmates, said in an interview with CNN Business that his company decided to speak out “principally because of values” and because restricting women’s access to abortion hampers their ability to “make economic choices.”
“The lack of simple access to care and treatment, and having to leave state lines in order to seek that treatment, means not only is their well-being at risk, but their economic and financial circumstances are at risk,” Aiyer said.
“We already have pretty anemic parental leave laws in this country to begin with, and a pay gap on top of that,” he said, calling abortion restrictions “another chipping away of gender equity.”
Aiyer said Postmates is bracing for pushback from consumers who disagree with the company’s stance — but, he added, “it matters more to us that women are stood up for.”
“It’s not a Democratic value or a Republican value; it’s the value of personal sovereignty,” Aiyer added. “Democracy is messy, but our taking of a position is more about sparking a conversation than imposing a position on our employees or customers.”