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05 July 2022
Brands react to Roe vs Wade ruling
Brand activismEnvironmental & social issuesUnited States
The recent ruling that abortion is no longer protected by the US constitution is having a knock-on effect on brands and businesses, which are having to reconsider everything from their employee health care offer to their data collection practices.
Brands like Adidas, Nike and Disney are among dozens that have publicly said they will help staff get access to health care services now unavailable in their state, by covering travel expenses, for example.
But that option may not be open to smaller companies that buy employee health insurance from insurers that are subject to state regulations.
Google has said it will delete users’ location history if they visit sensitive locations such as an abortion clinic – something law enforcement agenices could potentially seek to use in prosecutions.
Why it matters
The ruling inevitably drags businesses into a divisive political area where they are forced to make choices. Some, like Levi Strauss, have been vocal: “Protection of reproductive rights is a critical business issue impacting our workforce, our economy and progress toward gender and racial equity,” the company said. “Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard.”
It also raises new questions about data privacy, and there have been calls for any debate between the tech companies and governments about data collection to be carried out in public, so that regular people and privacy advocates can have their say.
Meantime, if people start turning off the location tracking feature on their phones that will have an impact on some products offered by tech firms as well as limiting some advertising opportunities.
Sourced from The New York Times, Google, Washington Post, The Independent