The last few weeks have brought troubling news for pro-choice campaigners in the United States.
A number of states in the country have passed new anti-abortion laws which aim to restrict options available to women who wish to terminate their pregnancies.
On May 15, Alabama’s governor inked a law which, if enacted, will only permit abortions if a mother’s life is at risk or if a fetus cannot survive, except in the cases of rape or incest. It is due to become effective in November.
In this scenario, a doctor terminating a pregnancy in Alabama at any point after conception could be jailed for up to 99 years.
Other states have also waved through legislation designed to reduce access to abortions. Lawmakers in Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Louisiana, Georgia and Missouri, for example, have passed so-called ‘heartbeat’ legislation, which broadly aims to make abortion illegal at any point after a fetus shows cardiac activity.
Although these ‘heartbeat’ laws have so far been blocked by federal courts in Kentucky, Mississippi and (by association) Louisiana, they are due to become effective in Ohio next month, in Missouri in August and in Georgia early next year.
Now, a group of business leaders from across the United States are petitioning against these and similar bills.
“We stand together in passionate opposition to these backward, irresponsible policies. Restricting access to reproductive care not only endangers people’s health and independence, it threatens the future of gender equality.”
Under the ‘Don’t Ban Equality’ campaign, executives representing over 100,000 employees are taking a stand against “policies that hinder people’s health, independence and ability to fully succeed in the workplace”.
Don’t Ban Equality’s mission statement reads: “Restricting 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. It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”
Those backing Don’t Ban Equality include reps from companies such as Square Inc (Jack Dorsey), H&M (Ezinne Kwubiri), Bloomberg (Peter T. Grauer), Birchbox (Katia Beauchamp), M.M. LaFleur (Sarah LaFleur), United Talent Agency (David Kramer) and Endeavor (Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel).
The sole signee, so far, from the music rights world is Julie Greenwald, representing both Atlantic Records (where she is COO and co-Chairman) and its owner, Warner Music Group.
In an internal note sent to staff on the matter today (June 10), obtained by MBW, Greenwald noted that “many of us…are deeply troubled by the recent abortion bans passed in Missouri, Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere”.
She further commented: “We stand together in passionate opposition to these backward, irresponsible policies. Restricting access to reproductive care not only endangers people’s health and independence, it threatens the future of gender equality.”
Those wishing to learn more about Don’t Ban Equality can do so through here.Music Business Worldwide