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Abortion is a tragedy, not a workplace benefit

Pedestrians walk past a Citibank branch in Washington DC.
Pedestrians walk past a Citibank branch in Washington DC. | (Reuters/Jim Young)

If the reports are true that the death of Roe is imminent, corporations will probably be vying to keep it on life support.

One by one, they’ve championed abortion. CitigroupYelpAmazon, Matchgroup, and Bumble promised to help cover costs for employees traveling for abortions. Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft vouched to cover the fines their drivers incurred for ushering women to abortion clinics. Salesforce offered to relocate employees to abortion-friendly states.

They’ve done this before, with other political causes. CitiGroup, for instance, did an internal racial equity audit in 2021. They concluded that racism had cost the U.S. $16 trillion.

Any real effort to fight racism is an effort I support. But for these corporations, it wasn’t ever about rectifying systemic racism, just like it’s not about the alleged “right” to abortion now. It’s about their bottom line. It’s about marketing.

So I want to talk about the cost of abortion. I want to talk about what justice and empathy would really look like here — and it does not look like subsidizing employees’ efforts to kill their children.

Of course, the costs can’t really be quantified. There is no way to translate life lost into dollars lost. The lives can be counted, though. And more than 62 million children have died at the hands of abortionists since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That is 62 million future voters, future leaders, future workers, future mothers, future fathers.

That’s an outrage. It’s an outrage that defending and perpetuating the killing of the unborn has come to exploit the language of justice. It’s an outrage that these corporations adopt political causes without giving serious thought to the actual harms and goods at hand.

The actual harm at hand is the systematic, widespread, socially-condoned killing of our unborn. This demographic has been thoroughly deprived of legal and cultural personhood — so much so that pregnancy is considered without shame by many to be a kind of diseased state, and children to be parasites. It will take dramatic, ongoing, coordinated effort to restore children to their rightful state.

The actual good at hand is the life of each of these children, and the benefits they might have brought to our country if allowed to live and grow. The actual good at hand is the undeniable, unrepeatable good of the unique person brought to life with each pregnancy.

These twin realities — the children’s lives and the rate at which we end them — are utterly resistant to smooth branding or weaponization for profit. The facts of life and of unjust death are stark, even shocking, and hard to translate into sleek corporate ad campaigns.

Being pro-life just doesn’t make you money. It isn’t fashionable. It won’t generate good headlines, and the project of supporting vulnerable mothers is a complex and difficult one.

But saving these children is real justice. Helping their mothers shows real empathy. The slogans conflating abortion with health care and touting it as an employee benefit may be catchy, but they’re lies.

So I ask you to maintain contact with reality, no matter how difficult that may be. Look directly at the problem. Confront it honestly, and in simple terms. Resist well-branded atrocities.

Killing unborn children is a tragedy, not a workplace benefit. Companies funding their employees’ decisions to abort children are not working for justice, they are complicit in the ongoing slaughter of our unborn.

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Benjamin Watson is a former Super Bowl champion and current vice president of strategic relationships with Human Coalition.

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