Are any women's groups calling for state boycotts?
April 3, 2016 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Why aren't there threatened corporate boycotts of states that have placed legal restrictions on women's rights to legal contraception and abortion the way there were threatened boycotts against states that passed "religious freedom" laws discriminating against homosexuals.

Last year Indiana Governor Pence backed down immediately in the face of threatened corporate boycotts of the state due to the religious freedom act the Indiana Legislature passed. This would have allowed businesses to discriminate against homosexuals. Major corporations, fearing the alienation of their customers and brands, are making the same noises about corporate boycotts in North Carolina for the same reason, saying: Discrimination against homosexuals is "settled law."

The right to contraception and abortion is also settled law. Pence just signed a law outlawing abortion for fetal abnormalities. Are there major women's groups or plans afoot calling for business boycotts of states like Indiana and North Carolina for flouting "settled law?" LBGT groups have been very successful in their lobbying of corporations that do business in these states. Which groups, if any, are calling for similar boycotts in states with women's health restrictions?
posted by Elsie to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To me, one big difference is that most women obtain their contraception/abortions in their home states, or such services can be financially supported by individual employers, whereas most travelers or employees use public restrooms, restaurants, etc.

For example, the governors and mayors who have issued travel bans have said that they have done so because otherwise they would be asking their employees to go somewhere unsafe.

The terrible abortion laws have also been somewhat more incremental.

(Note, I would wholeheartedly support such boycotts).
posted by lab.beetle at 2:17 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

This has been bothering me too, since Current Employer has been on the forefront of opposing antiGLBT laws but silent on the antirepro rights stuff. Any woman who can get pregnant is at risk from these laws just by visiting the state ... if you're raped, can you get Plan B??

Indiana's new bill is especially awful. Glad I had my tubes tied.

I am trying to think of ways to help ppl see that these laws SHOULD deter women from travelling to these states. Perhaps a widespread travel boycott by women in a position to do so might make a difference.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 2:55 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Your question makes it sound like the "settled law" argument is the primary stated reason for the boycott. I don't see any evidence to support that. The corporate statements I've read have all focused on the company's commitment to inclusivity and/or belief that discrimination is wrong, not an argument about law.

Another factor is that pretty much every corporation is publicly opposed to discrimination, has diversity/inclusivity efforts, etc. Whereas most corporations do not have a public position on abortion... and it possibly would not be prudent for them to take a stand.
posted by acidic at 3:03 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah, the reason for it is that most big corporations don't have a public position on abortion. They often do have a public position on other gender-related issues: workplace discrimination, affirmative action, pregnancy related employment benefits, etc. So if laws were passed that affected those issues--for example, if a state tried to make it legal to pay women less than men or illegal to offer paid maternity leave--you'd probably see boycotts. But abortion is a no-win issue for a public company. If they support abortion rights, they risk losing their anti-abortion customers. If they publicly oppose abortion rights, they lose their pro-choice customers. So they try to just stay out of the issue entirely.

(By the way, for a lot of Americans, using the word "homosexuals" to refer to LGBT people reads as the kind of language that is primarily used by people who are bigoted against LGBT people. It's just not a preferred term here. I don't know whether that's true where you live, or whether you intended to use it in that manner. But I thought I'd point it out in case you didn't know, because it's a pretty common code word here.)
posted by decathecting at 10:56 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Alternative to Istanbul in Turkey?   |   Roadtrip help - Seattle to Houston in three weeks Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.