Women’s rights activists have repeatedly said that the repeal of Roe v. Wade will majorly set back health and reproductive rights and, particularly in liberal states, the unpopularity of the decision is pushing many to see where the companies they give money to stand.
As the Walt Disney Corporation (DIS) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report discovered over the last six months, silence can be seen as a lack of support and lead to boycotts and protests — when Florida passed what critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” act to limit sexual education in schools, Disney’s hesitancy to vocally condemn it led to weeks of employee walkouts and protests.
Disney Expresses Opposition To Repeal, Offers To Cover Travel Costs
This time, Disney was much faster in reacting to the news. An hour after the Supreme Court decision, the entertainment company sent an internal memo saying that it would cover travel expenses for those who need to travel to another state to get a legal abortion.
“Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Paul Richardson, chief human resources officer, and Pascale Thomas, vice president of enterprise benefits and well-being, wrote in the memo.
But vocal support of progressive causes can also come with a cost. After Disney caved to employee pressure and said that its past both-sides approach “didn’t quite get the job done,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis retaliated by pushing forth a bill that strips the entertainment company of its special tax status and ability to function as an independent government.
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While signs point to the fact that actually implementing the law would come with major red tape that may prevent it from ever happening, Disney’s opposition to “Don’t Say Gay” set off a protracted battle with Florida’s conservative government.
While the company likely saw its support statements as a way to quell growing discontent, the reverberations are likely to continue well into the future.
Will The Same Happen With Opposition To Roe v. Wade Repeal?
While Florida has liberal enclaves like Miami and St. Petersburg, Republicans currently control both chambers of the state legislature.
DeSantis signed a law back in April that would move the permitted abortion timeframe from 24 to 15 weeks.
Florida is not a state that analysts see as one that will move to ban abortions outright in the immediate terms (for years, women from states like Mississippi and Louisiana traveled there to get access to legal abortions) but the Supreme Court ruling allows the state to change that for any time or reason.
There’s no way to tell whether Disney’s reproductive rights support could be a drop in the bucket of DeSantis’ longstanding rage over what he calls Disney “going woke” or set off further retaliatory actions that the Supreme Court ruling now enables.
“If you thought MAGA was mad at Disney over the ‘don’t say gay’ thing and recognizing that gay marriage actually exists in Lightyear, wait until they hear Disney is going to fund safe abortions,” writes Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report user Jim Stewart.