Did you know that mothers are more productive workers than women without children? A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis looked at the productivity of 10,000 academic economists. Results showed that mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage. Even more impressive, mothers with two or more kids were the most productive of all.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade last summer, more and more companies are choosing not only to incentivize abortion, but to disincentivize their employees to have kids. These corporations are implicitly encouraging their female employees to end the lives of their own children.
Working mothers should be accommodated and encouraged by their employers. Companies that slash family benefits, or encourage their employees towards abortion through company policy, should be penalized by workers and customers.
Too often when an employee gets pregnant, she is asked to make a choice. Rather than a celebration of the new, precious lives they carry, mothers are offered an all-expenses-paid trip for a brutal procedure with a return ticket back to their desks and the daily grind.
Kaiser Health News identified 114 companies that pledged to either maintain or expand what they absurdly label “abortion care.” (As if intentionally ending a life could ever be “care.”) These “benefits” range from $3,000 to up to $10,000 per person, per year, to cover paid time off or reimburse for travel and lodging so employees can obtain an abortion. Fifty-four of the companies are in the Fortune 500, including Starbucks, Bank of America, Disney, and Apple.
Corporate America’s one-two punch is to incentivize abortion, then cut maternity benefits. After surveying 3,000 employers, The Wall Street Journal found that only 35 percent offer paid maternity leave benefits beyond what is mandated by federal law, down from 53 percent in 2020. That’s an enormous decrease in just over two years. One company dramatically trimming benefits is Hulu, which now only offers eight weeks of paid leave for mothers after childbirth.
Before the change, Hulu offered 20 weeks of paid parental leave. At the same time, Hulu’ parent company Disney announced in June that it would cover the cost of employees traveling across state lines to procure an abortion. Adding abortion benefits while cutting family benefits means pushing more mothers towards abortion, and imposing significant economic pressure through a job that doesn’t accommodate the most important thing in these employees’ lives: their growing families. Rather than embrace these women once they become mothers, companies seem to prefer that women stay single and tethered to their cubicles and the company’s needs.
Corporate America should exist to serve people—both customers and employees—and not exploit their workforce by encouraging abortion and limiting parental leave. By promoting abortions, employers expose that they care more about the bottom line than about their employees. It is far cheaper to pay for and facilitate abortions than it is to have world-class maternity leave policies. And even though 71 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 participate in the labor force, mothers and their children are being treated as a burden rather than an asset.
For an employer, a chemical abortion typically costs $560, not counting the cost of travel and several nights in a hotel. On the other hand, 18 weeks of paid maternity leave could cost almost $7,000 for a minimum-wage position. Add to this the increased cost of medical insurance, plus the soft costs of lactation breaks and flexibility needs of raising a child. To these companies, abortion can seem simply good for business. But this view is cruel, short-sighted, and profoundly inhumane.
Corporate America must remember why it exists in the first place: to help families thrive. The most important place in America is not the office building but the family home. Work life must serve family life, not the other way around. Happily for everyone, the economics work out best when families are empowered to thrive. It’s time to demand more equitable and humane labor practices for mothers and fathers, recognizing the incredible value they bring to each and every one of these companies.
The next time a company makes a “generous offer” to pay a mother to end her pre-born child’s life through abortion, that company should be condemned publicly and penalized by conscientious consumers.
Lila Rose is the founder and president of Live Action, a leading nonprofit human rights organization reaching millions of people each day with education on abortion and human dignity.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
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