Roe Approaches

Last week we shared some initial considerations for companies in responding to the leaked Supreme Court vote on Roe v. Wade. As the final decision nears, here are some additional guidelines to consider in your response:

  • Center your people. No immediate changes to constitutional rights have occurred yet, but this is a moment where employees may expect to hear from companies on a human level that the potential impact is being considered.
    • Ensure the dialogue is respectful of different viewpoints.
    • Equip leadership and managers to respond to questions from employees, even if you have not made concrete decisions yet. 
    • Seek out ways to support company mental health by sharing information on available resources.
    • Be mindful that not all groups have the same viewpoints and also not all are personally impacted equally. This may have a disproportionate impact on groups in certain demographics and communities, and they may require a different response from you.
  • Consider stakeholder expectations. If your organization has previously actively and proudly engaged on issues related to gender equity and human rights, stakeholders are more likely to expect to hear from you on this.
    • Past participation in broader gender equity conversations (such as recently celebrating Women’s History Month or International Women’s Day) may spur media and other stakeholders to reach out for your response.
    • Abortion-rights advocates may well call out companies as hypocrites if they have previously advocated for gender issues and are not participating at the current moment.
    • Actions now will create precedent for later battles on other issues. For many the developments on abortion are seen as a wedge into broader privacy issues that also provide legal foundation for LGBTQ+ rights and any other matters concerning personal autonomy and control over personal health decisions.
  • Sector and customer base matter. Organizations that have strong connections in healthcare or consumer brands, especially those geared toward women, may be faced with higher expectations to take action and/or speak on this issue. A B-to-B brand may come under less public scrutiny than a consumer-facing company but should still consider morale and recruitment among employees or expectations of customers.