America's biggest companies with female CEOs have little to say on abortion rights

·2 min read

More than a week after a leaked draft opinion showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, major U.S. companies with female CEOs have little or nothing to say about the matter.

Yahoo Finance reached out to the country's biggest, female-led companies after last week's leak showed the Supreme Court's conservative majority has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, paving the way for nearly half of all U.S. states to ban or limit abortion rights if the final opinion reflects the leaked draft.

Among the U.S.'s top 1,000 companies in 2021, by revenue, 72 are led by women. Among those 72, just two responded to Yahoo Finance's request to learn how they're planning for possible changes to federal and state laws, and whether they've considered broadening benefits if workers can't obtain legal abortions in their home state.

A spokesperson for Rhode Island-based CVS Health (CVS), led by president and CEO Karen Lynch, told Yahoo Finance,"We’ve made out-of-state care accessible and affordable for employees in states that have instituted more restrictive laws."

New York-based Citigroup (C), the only other company to respond and led by Jane Fraser, noted through a spokesperson that employee travel benefits had been extended to include access to reproductive health care services, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Four other companies wrote to decline comment.

"We do not comment on pending legal decisions," a spokesperson for Connecticut-based elevator engineering company Otis Worldwide (OTIS), headed by CEO Judith F. Marks, said in an email.

A public relations manager for Commercial Metals (CMC), whose CEO Barbara Smith also serves as the president and board chairman, said the Texas-based metal fabrication and recycling firm would not be able to comment during a quiet period prior to its Q3 earnings release.

New York-based Nasdaq, led by CEO and president Adena T. Friedman, and Oregon-based Portland General Electric (POR), led by CEO Maria Pope, also declined to comment.

To be sure, corporations have no obligation to publicly align with either side of the highly charged debate. And to be fair, company executives may see a response to the leak as premature, as the high court could still yet issue a final ruling that departs from its draft.

Nonetheless, both before and after the leak, dozens of companies led by men and women have affirmed or reaffirmed employee benefits that expand abortion access for workers in states with laws more restrictive than Roe v. Wade.

Research from the pro-choice organization Guttmacher Institute shows that nine states have abortion bans currently blocked by Roe, while 13 states have laid legal groundwork to ban all or nearly all abortions if Roe falls.

Alexis Keenan is a legal reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow Alexis on Twitter @alexiskweed.

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