Jhe pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was one of the most vocal opponents of a sweeping anti-abortion law passed in his home state of Indiana last August, saying the measure would make it difficult to attract talent and would require looking outside the state for growth.
But in the weeks and months that followed, Lilly continued to financially support Republican candidates and politicians who support the abortion ban across the country, including many who celebrated the reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
He wasn’t the only one.
A Guardian analysis of political donations from other major US companies shows that those who suggested they would help female employees circumvent statewide abortion bans, offering to pay medical bills out of the state for those who seek an abortion in states where the option was illegal, continued to financially support applicants who have requested an abortion ban. They include Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Comcast, CitigroupAT&T and Amazon.
The analysis suggests that while some of America’s largest employers want to be seen as supporting the reproductive health of their workers and their families, the abortion issue has not affected their financial support for Republican candidates who have pledged to further erode the reproductive rights of these workers.
Lilly has made financial contributions to anti-choice Texas State Senators Charles Schwertner and Charles Perry and Texas State President Dade Phelan, who said he saw no need to change current Texas law, which requires women who have been raped to carry their pregnancies to term.
Since Roe’s cancellation, Lilly has also made financial donations to U.S. Senators Rand Paul, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Mike Crapo, among others, who have supported the abortion rights cancellation. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, said it would cover out-of-state abortion travel for employees on its health care plan, but not the contractors who make up the bulk part of its workforce.
But even as he pledged to help some of his workers get access to abortion care, he continued to support Republican candidates like Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, who wrote in a editorial for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the fight against abortion “has only just begun”.
“We will always stand up for the rights of the unborn child until abortion is not only illegal in all 50 states, but unconscionable,” he wrote.
Amazon’s Political Action Committee has also made donations to David Valadao, a California Republican who co-sponsored a “life by conception” law, which states it would guarantee a right to life at the “time of fertilization,” and to Tony Gonzales, who has an A+ rating from anti-choice group Susan B Anthony List. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
AT&T, the US telecommunications company, said it would cover travel costs for medical procedures within 100 miles of an employee’s home address because it values the health of its employees for s ensure they can access “a full range of health care benefits when they need them”.
But the company has also backed dozens of Republican candidates since the June 24 decision to overrule Roe, including Jodey Arrington of Texas, who has called abortion a “moral stain on the fabric of America” and backs a federal ban on abortion. ‘abortion. He also donated to Greg Steube, a Florida Republican who said that with Roe’s overturn “no wrong court rulings can stop states from enforcing murder and assault laws to protect the unborn child of abortion”. In Georgia, he supported Republican Andrew Clyde, who said abortion should be “completely abolished” unless the mother’s life is in danger, and Barry Loudermilk, who tweeted that pro-community work life was “just beginning” after the Dobbs Decision that struck down a federal abortion law. In Maryland, AT&T backed Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who said Dobbs didn’t create a health care crisis, and Michigan’s Jack Bergman, who supports a federal ban on abortion.
An AT&T spokesperson said the company’s political action committee had “never based its contribution decisions on a lawmaker’s position on abortion.”
The spokesperson added, “Our PAC employees contribute to bipartisan candidates and focus on policies and regulations that are important for investing in broadband networks and hiring, developing and retaining a skilled workforce with competitive salaries and benefits. It is incorrect to say that contributions to elected officials are equivalent to supporting all of their political positions.
In the aftermath of Dobbs, Mark Zuckerberg Meta said it would reimburse travel costs “to the extent permitted by law” for those who need to access out-of-state reproductive and health services. But he also backed — among others — candidates like Don Bacon of Nebraska and Bob Latta of Ohio who co-sponsored a bill to ban abortions at the federal level. A spokesperson for Meta did not respond to a request for comment.
Citibank said after Dobbs it would provide travel benefits to employees who need “access to adequate resources,” but continued to support Republican candidates who support a national abortion ban, such as John Hoeven of the North Dakota. He also donated to Jerry Moran of Kansas, who said life begins at conception and “supports legislation protecting life in its earliest stages and under all conditions.”
Kara Findlay, head of corporate communications at Citi, declined to comment.
Comcast, NBC Universal’s parent company, said it would support thousands of dollars in medically necessary travel expenses after Roe’s cancellation, but continued to make political donations to Republicans who support the ban on abortion, like Benjamin Cline of Virginia, who once proposed legislation. it would mark the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision as the “Day of Tears”, which would commemorate “59 million lives lost” due to the protection of abortion services.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Are you an employee of any of these companies and do you get a tip? Please contact: Stephanie.Kirchgaessner@theguardian.com