Fine was referring to the pro-life laws recently passed in states including Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, and Ohio. “Don’t Ban Equality”—a full-page New York Times ad on June 10 signed by 50 business executives—was a reaction to this legislation. Hull, Faulhaber, and Fine were among the original signers.
The ad announced: “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care. … Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values, and is bad for business.”
The day of the ad’s release, USA Today ran the headline: “‘Bad for business’: Executives from major companies sign joint letter against abortion bans.” This article and other media coverage of the ad highlighted the more recognizable brands on the list, such as Yelp, H&M, and Ben & Jerry’s. They also spotlighted the big-name CEOs like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey (who signed the ad under his lesser-known company Square Inc.) and Diane von Fürstenberg.
This press coverage implied that corporate America was taking a liberal position on abortion just as it had on LGBTQ rights. But not a single CEO of the Fortune 500—the largest American corporations—signed. With a few exceptions, the signers of the pro-abortion ad are CEOs of small, privately held startups. Many of the businesses have fewer than 50 employees and some are sole proprietorships. Most are headquartered on the coasts, where they are unaffected by the recent pro-life laws.
Aug. 25 marks a big movie anniversary. On that day in 1939 moviegoers across the United States watched in Technicolor as the fearsome Wizard of Oz, flanked by columns of fire, snarled at a scarecrow, a tin man, a cowardly lion, and Dorothy Gale of Kansas. But Dorothy’s dog Toto sniffed out the truth: The great and powerful wizard was really an unimpressive con man pulling levers. Eighty years later, Big Media and abortion advocates are similarly making abortion-promoting CEOs seem wizardly.