A Roe Decision: What To Consider

Responses from corporates—or lack thereof— on last week’s leaked draft Supreme Court opinion on abortion will be closely scrutinized. 

Here are some initial considerations as you develop your response in the short-term:

  • Before the decision is final, we recommend a cross-functional, rapid process of due diligence and discussion that will inform how a company responds. This should be led by HR, legal, policy, comms and operations working together, and potentially the board of directors as needed.
  • There is no “one size fits all” approach. Each organization needs to ground its response in the actions it has and will take, not just rhetoric, considering: 
    • Your values
    • The context of your past engagement on this and similar issues
    • A deep dive into your employee footprint mapped against state-level restrictions (existing or proposed)
    • Health care benefits’ current status and options
    • Legal risk based on existing or proposed state laws, and 
    • The needs of your employees and other interested stakeholders, such as customers or investors.
  • Consider action and response on this issue not only narrowly, but in the context of approaches to broader social issues. This decision is coming against the backdrop of highly public debates that may even further politicize reproductive and/or LGBTQ+ rights. All these areas will likely continue to be conflated by some stakeholders.
  • Prepare for a range of decisions: 
    • Benefits. Those companies with employees in the 28 states where the opinion would likely have direct impact will have higher expectations to say something about what they are or are not doing differently about benefits, to employees even if not publicly, than companies in non-affected states. It is likely these companies will have little option to make statements without detailing any action they may or may not be taking.
    • Advocacy. Will the company get involved in or take a position on any proposed state- or federal-level legislation?
    • Rhetoric. What will the company say, if anything, and via what vehicle/channel, spokesperson and audience?