The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade made waves across the country, dividing opinions with a vocal portion of people expressing anger and disappointment. In turn, many major US companies have pledged to help their employees access reproductive services.
The charitable move has been tipped to deepen the Republican Party’s discontent with corporate America, especially since the party is on the brink of winning back the US House later this year.
Conservatives have criticized the companies pledging to expand their health care benefits to cover travel expenses for employees and dependents seeking an abortion outside their state. However, lawmakers quickly suggested improved parental leave policies over abortion-related benefits.
However, the unrest started as early as May before the Court’s decision when a draft opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case leaked. Republican members of the Texas Legislature wrote to Lyft, saying they would introduce bills in the next legislative session that targets companies that continue to provide abortion-related benefits in the state.
“After Dobbs, the alliance between social conservatives and neoliberal corporatists in the GOP is over,” said Republic Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. “Look no further than mega-corporations caving to the far-left and offering to cover all abortion-related expenses for their employees.”
“Republicans sought to focus on pro-family policies to support mothers and their children, not corporate welfare for big business and the ultra-wealthy.”
When companies started announcing abortion-related travel benefits, Republic critics quickly weighed in on their opinions.
The majority believe it is a hostile move against social conservatism by boardrooms across the country. However, they also see it as a part of a more significant trend that has companies becoming more amenable to progressive causes and political activism.
Despite years of promoting corporate tax cuts and subsidies that benefit major businesses and allow industry money to flow to the GOP, Republicans with leadership or presidential ambitions have become more vocal, including Hawley.
Jessica Anderson of conservative Heritage Action for America emphasized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ dissolution of Disney’s special governing powers in April as a move that was speculated to be a retaliation of the company’s opposition to a GOP-back law restricting public school lessons that focus on sexual orientation and gender identity for students as early as kindergarten through grade school.
DeSantis is considered a top contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 should he decide to run. His clash with Disney pushed him high on everyone’s radar. DeSantis also led a University of New Hampshire poll in June of potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls.
“I think conservative voters see the action these companies are taking, and it’s one more thing that adds to their frustration,” offered Anderson. “If the November election goes the way we think it will, there will be a huge mandate for elected officials up and down the ballot to take seriously these companies going so woke.”
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.