Corporate America grappling with post-Roe world
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FILE – This Sept. 20, 2017, file photo shows a sign at the Disney store on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France. The Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of politics. A rash of iconic names including The Walt Disney Company, Facebook parent Meta, and Goldman Sachs announced they would pay for travel expenses for those who want the procedure but can’t get it in the states they live in. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

() —For the first time in nearly 50 years, American citizens and corporation alike have to align themselves with a world in which abortion is no longer federally protected under Roe v. Wade.

Friday’s Supreme Court decision to strike down the abortion law, in which the court’s six conservative justices voted to kill it, instantly evoked mass controversy nationwide as protests and celebrations popped up across the country.

Major corporations, meanwhile, are navigating the turbulent waters created by the Supreme Court ruling by, in some cases, showing their support for those who are angered by the decision. Nearly 50% of the workforce is made up of women, further complicating the issue for businesses.

Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix, Starbucks, Facebook parent Meta, American Express, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Zillow say they will reimburse employees who decide to travel to protest the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling.

Dick’s Sporting Goods said it will provide employees, spouses and dependents up to $4,000 to travel places where services eliminated under the court ruling remain available. Patagonia went so far as to post on LinkedIn Friday that it would provide “training and bail for those who peacefully protest for reproductive justice,” and time off to vote.

But of the dozens of big businesses that The Associated Press reached out to Friday, many, such as McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Tyson and Marriott did not respond. Arkansas-based Walmart — the nation’s largest employer with a good portion of its stores in states that will immediately trigger abortion bans following the Friday’s Supreme Court ruling — also kept quiet.

FILE – Facebook’s Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on Oct. 28, 2021. The Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of politics. A rash of iconic names including The Walt Disney Company, Facebook parent Meta, and Goldman Sachs announced they would pay for travel expenses for those who want the procedure but can’t get it in the states they live in. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Those corporate responses have sparked yet another debate between the bitterly divided sides of the issue.

It’s not something about them as a corporation it’s about supporting its employees and I think that’s great,” said pro-women’s rights supporter Joan Flynn.

Others disagreed.

“I don’t believe that a corporation or anyone else has the right to this,” said anti-abortion activist Kolleen Godwin.

Hobby Lobby won a case in the Supreme Court back in 2014 dealing with employer-provided health care and contraception and its objections due to religion. The company has not provided a comment on the latest Supreme Court ruling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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