‘Major shock’: The economic fallout from the abortion decision – POLITICO

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Financial

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Editor’s note: Morning Money is a free version of POLITICO Pro Financial Services morning newsletter, which is delivered to our subscribers each morning at 5:15 a.m. The POLITICO Pro platform combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day’s biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn decades of abortion precedent has created a slew of logistical, political and potentially legal challenges for corporations, including big Wall Street firms.One of the most immediate issues — what to do for employees who live and work in states poised to dramatically limit abortion access.Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were among the firms that already told employees they would cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortions who don’t have access near where they live. On Friday, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs said they would do the same.WSJ’s David Benoit notes that the banks have employees spread throughout the country and several have been building up offices in states like Texas to limit their concentration in New York. That means some employees will have access to abortion and others won’t.Among other companies that have weighed in, or made (or plan to make) similar policy changes: Starbucks, Amazon, Grubhub, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Disney, Meta, Tesla, Apple, Salesforce, Uber and Lyft.Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart in a statement Friday acknowledged the potential blowback. “We recognize people feel passionately about this topic — and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” she said, emphasizing that the company’s move was about making sure employees have the same access to care regardless of where they live.

Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court Saturday in the wake of the court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Legal minefield — Legal experts warn that companies will have to navigate a patchwork of state laws and face potential lawsuits from states or anti-abortion advocates claiming the policies constitute aiding and abetting a crime.”If you can sue me as a person for carrying your daughter across state lines, you can sue Amazon for paying for it,” Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois and expert on health care law, told Reuters’ Daniel Wiessner.That’s to say nothing of the political blowback.“When it comes to the range of politicized issues within the sphere of a brand’s impact, few are as divisive and deeply personal as abortion,” Mike Proulx, a vice president and research director at consumer research company Forrester, told NYTs Emma Goldberg and Lora Kelley.That may explain why most companies have been silent on the issue — even ones that tend to speak out on social issues.NATURAL EXPERIMENT — Economists have been studying the effect of abortion access for decades, but much of the research focuses on a narrow period in the early 1970s, after some states had legalized abortion, but before Roe made it the law of the land.That natural experiment allowed researchers to compare the effect on women in states where abortion was legal and where it was not. Many of those studies concluded the Roe decision led to improved social and economic outcomes and “changed the arc of women’s lives,” as 154 economists wrote in …

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