Earlier this month, a coalition of CEOs launched an ad campaign voicing their opposition to new state-level laws that seek to protect unborn children and their mothers from abortion at various stages of pregnancy.
In a campaign pulled together by Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocacy groups, executives at 180 companies signed their name to the initial full-page ad, which ran in the New York Times and blared the intentionally vague headline, “Don’t Ban Equality: It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive healthcare.”
As cynical as it is misguided, the campaign’s signatories include Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (endorsing on behalf of Square rather than his primary company) along with leaders from Bloomberg L.P., Zoom, Atlantic Records, Yelp, H&M, and “swipe-right” app Tinder (the only brand that makes sense in this list).
Of course, what the coalition of corporate executives has in mind has nothing to do with “equality.” “Equality” is not being being banned or harmed in any state that is making strides to protect life in the womb.
Abortion is intrinsically and intentionally unequal, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently noted with some detail. With its roots solidly planted in the eugenic movement of the early 20th century, abortion has always been a tool to allow the strong to overpower the weak. That’s the very argument that suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton used in their time to combat abortion, which they refer to as “child murder” and opposed as a major impediment to the full inclusion of women in society.
Unfortunately, the social engineers of the 20th century did not follow in the footsteps of Anthony and Stanton. The results have been devastating. Not only are African American babies five times more likely to be aborted than white babies, but in New York City, 1 out of 2 black babies is killed by abortion. Meanwhile, girls and those diagnosed with conditions such as Down syndrome are heavily targeted by abortion in the U.S. and all over the world.
All the while, Planned Parenthood and its friends are putting their donor dollars (plus the $ 500 million Planned Parenthood siphons from American taxpayers each year) toward fighting tooth and nail against any and all efforts to protect children from being aborted just because they were conceived as the “wrong” race, sex, or chromosome count.
Despite the posturing of CEOs like Dorsey and Tinder’s Elie Seidman, the fact is that abortion creates and sustains a profound inequality for its victims: both mother and child. At no point in the ad or on the campaign’s website do supporters make even a passing comment about the very real physical dangers abortion poses to women, risks that increase the further a pregnancy moves along.
Instead, Dorsey, Seidman, and their co-signers assert that “[r]estricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business.”
How does eliminating millions of ethnic women from the workforce of tomorrow (as abortion does) translate to a competitive talent strategy?
No mother should be made to choose between her child and a career, yet that’s exactly the choice these business leaders are advocating. Think of the message that sends to their female employees and even the customers themselves. That’s not just inequality; it’s outright discrimination.
On that note, it’s fair to ask what Dorsey, Seidman, and others are hoping to accomplish with the campaign. I know it’s a question I’d be asking if I were on the payroll for any of these companies.
After all, it is far cheaper to cover the one-time cost of an abortion via insurance rather than to incur long-term costs of employees’ prenatal and maternity care — plus the next 18 years of bumps, scrapes, bruises, and late-night trips to the emergency room.
Whatever these CEOs’ specific motives, it’s worth suggesting that when protecting life in the womb goes against your “values” and business model, maybe it’s time to reconsider both. There are better solutions and models for holistic reproductive wellness for all women all over our country. What’s the ulterior motive for these CEOs? Because it is certainly not talent, competitiveness, or concern for women or minorities.
Mike Sharrow serves as the CEO of the C12 Group, which serves more than 2,300 Christian CEO/presidents and executives across the nation.