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A Washington Post column published Thursday blasted big corporations, including Amazon, Uber, Starbucks and Dick’s Sporting Goods, for offering employee benefits and resources related to abortion, arguing there is no “bit of generosity” that can make up for the “loss” of bodily autonomy.
In the column entitled, “Abortion rights should be law, not a corporate perk,” writer Helaine Olen criticized large corporations for giving “serious money” to conservative political action committees and politicians, and only now offering a sliver of “corporate generosity.”
“True, this isn’t quite the equivalent of offing your parents and pleading to the court that you’re an orphan. But it is the equivalent of helping fund the purchase of the murder weapon, then tossing a few bucks at the local orphanage,” Olen wrote.
The piece specifically called out Citigroup for handing Republican State Leadership Committee $75,000 in 2021, and that same amount to the Republican Attorneys General Association the year prior. Amazon, Bank of America, Lyft and Uber had also donated to conservative groups.
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Olen quoted Bruce Freed, the president of the Center for Political Accountability, who claimed these companies were “enabling” legislation and lawsuits that saw Roe v. Wade overturned.
Olen also wrote that the new corporate benefits, such as paying for expenses to get an abortion, came with “enormous caveats” that benefited high-level employees, and leaving low-paid retail workers and part-time employees in the dust. It is important to note that employees that are not salaried usually do not receive healthcare benefits from employers.
The columnist said that in the case of companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, some benefits come with loopholes you could “drive a delivery truck through.”
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Dick’s Sporting Goods refused to comment when Olen asked if the company would extend their policy to those who are not full-time or salaried. Starbucks, meanwhile, said that employees must work at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits.
“Not all Starbucks baristas work that many hours. Starbucks has also said it can’t ‘promise’ workers at its union locations will receive the assistance going forward, saying it would possibly be subject to negotiation,” Olen noted.
Olen also blasted Walmart and a host of unnamed fast food giants for failing to release public statements that condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling as “morally wrong.”
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“That’s a huge difference from Roe v. Wade, which, for 49 years, offered Americans a promise of bodily autonomy we no longer possess. There’s no corporate perk, no bit of generosity, that can make up for that loss,” Olen concluded.
In May, following the leak of an opinion draft on Roe v. Wade, The Washington Post was accused of activism for urging video game companies to take a stand and speak out in defiance.
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