You may have noticed how so many companies felt the need to express how heartbroken they were at the news of Roe v. Wade being declared unconstitutional.
Not only that, but many also proclaimed that they will actively subsidize abortions, even across state lines if need be. As the corporate reaction to the Dobbs decision demonstrates, the line between politics and consumerism is becoming progressively blurred.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, these corporations, predictably, are rushing to make statements on social media about abortion, that is, their support of abortion as essential healthcare. With abortion set to be outlawed in up to 22 states post-Roe, companies want to be vocal about how their healthcare policies will be affected (or not affected), as well as express dissent about the decision. From funding travel for out-of-state abortions, to financing the abortion itself, to making donations to abortion funds, corporate America is swift to show immediate support for this complex and polarizing issue. The truth is, most customers don’t care about Big Business’s distress and opinions about current issues; we just want them to do their job and provide a quality good or service in exchange for our money.
The Next Level of Ideological Marketing
But ideological marketing is nothing new and has been on the rise for the past decade. We saw it first with Pride Month, then with BLM, and now the direct funding of abortion. While corporate activism in the past came across as condescending and obnoxious, companies have now taken it to a whole new level. Abortion is a life-or-death issue. These companies are using their revenue to fund the killing of unborn children and the dehumanization of women.
The line between politics and consumerism is becoming progressively blurred.
At the time of writing, these popular brands have made a statement of support for abortion, funding abortion, or assisting in procuring an abortion:
Meta (Instagram and Facebook)
Levi Strauss & Co
JP Morgan Chase
Bank of America
On the other hand, especially in this day and age when everyone is expected to show support for the current cause, silence can speak volumes. Whether because they agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling or they are wisely keeping their business separate from politics, these major companies have not yet made a statement in regard to Roe v. Wade, at the time of writing.
Alternative social media platforms
Local credit unions
Inside the Corporate Mind
The pursuit of profit is acceptable as the goal for any company. This is why the free market is so effective in leading to innovation and economic growth. But there is a right and a wrong way to achieve it. A company should focus on creating value for its consumers with quality products to fill a specific demand. People will gladly pay for a good or service that they need, and ultimately both parties will benefit as a result. But a line has to be drawn when it comes to exploiting hot-topic issues for social status and sacrificing human lives to generate more revenue.
Although the companies would like their consumers to think otherwise, supporting abortion, like everything else they do, is a business decision at the end of the day. There are two reasons that this is profitable for the company, ultimately leading to the fundamental motive behind why companies are doing this.
The first reason why a company may publicly state that they’re funding abortions is as a type of marketing, both to consumers and employees. The brand uses virtue-signaling to attract progressive-minded customers. That way, buying something from the corporation will make these people feel morally good. The company thinks this will make it popular and attract what they deem to be the majority, or at least the most vocal of its consumer base, as well as avoid backlash from activists. Likewise, in the current labor shortage, the company wants to make employees feel taken care of and that any so-called healthcare needs are met.
The second reason, in relation to abortion especially, is efficiency. It’s much easier and cheaper to pay for travel for an abortion than to pay for childcare, deal with maternity leave, etc. Funding abortion is simply a convenience. This allows women to be working machines for the company without disruption. This, of course, comes at the expense of their employees’ personal lives, emotional health, physical health, and the life of the child. Firms that use activism are really only focused on immediate profits, which brings us to the reason that ties the first two together: a distraction.
A corporation attempts to appear externally virtuous to distract from what its true aim is – profit and influence.
A corporation attempts to appear externally virtuous in order to distract from what its true aim is – profit and influence. Using activist causes to mask their efficiency-minded modus operandi is the perfect win-win for the company. They can gain profit and avoid backlash from those who support abortion while simultaneously saving money by paying for abortions instead of supporting families, and ultimately distract from its true goal by masquerading abortion as women’s rights.
The truth is that the majority of these corporations care nothing for women and have no respect for the dignity of human life. They see women and families as a liability to their business. They exploit employees’ desperate situations to make themselves look good. Ironically, they are killing their future customers.
It’s important to think twice before shopping at one of these companies if abortion is something you morally or politically disagree with. While it can be hard to avoid companies selling crucial services like banks, shipping, and even technology, many of which have near-monopolies in the industry, we can find alternatives to certain companies on this list. For example, instead of going to Starbucks, go to a local coffee shop or make your own coffee at home. Instead of shopping at Kroger, try a new grocery store. Instead of Levi’s, there are many other denim brands. As for social media, this is the perfect excuse to delete the time-consuming app TikTok once and for all. In the end, by trying out new brands, you may even discover a new favorite you would've otherwise overlooked.
What happened to the idea that companies were simply supposed to produce a supply to fill a demand? They only exist because they provide a good or service to consumers. Now, however, the value of the good is no longer allowed to speak for itself and a political agenda has invaded the corporate sphere. We’ve seen this phenomenon before, but now, funding the termination of a human being takes the issue to a whole new level.
It's up to the consumers, who ultimately control the demand for a product, to show the companies what is and is not acceptable. Just like the case of shrinkflation, it’s important to be well-informed about what corporations are really selling. If corporations are going to make shopping political, then citizens have the right to not give these places their money. The key is to be aware of company policy and what our money could be going towards, and then we can make informed decisions about how we want to spend our incomes.
Readers make our world go round. Make your voice heard in the official Evie reader survey.