On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a draconian bill that would effectively ban all abortions in the state. The radical legislation would be a dramatic step backward for women's rights and gender equality -- banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions in Alabama could face up to 99 years in jail.
The effort was spearheaded by Alabama's Republican leadership: Speaker Mac McCutcheon, Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, Senate President (and Lt. Governor) Will Ainsworth, and Majority Leader Greg Reed. The bill was sponsored by a Republican Senator, Clyde Chambliss.
Ainsworth, for example, posted a video on Twitter about his effort to have women carry their rapists baby to term.
McCutcheon stressed that the purpose of the bill was to prompt the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade. "Alabama, as a whole in the state, is a pro-life state. What we as a state are doing, is trying to address the national problem," he said.
There are just four women in the Alabama state Senate.
Meanwhile, some of America's most prominent corporations are backing these politicians -- and their war on women's rights -- with campaign cash. These are the same companies that publicly claim to support gender equality and women's rights.
Coca-Cola supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent promotes himself as a feminist and gave an impassioned presentation on the topic at the Women’s Global Forum Meeting.
Empowering women and supporting gender equality is crucial on both moral and practical grounds, the chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company said this week during a keynote interview and panel at the Women’s Global Forum Meeting.
In a session titled “Why I am a Feminist,” Muhtar Kent said advocating for women is not only the right thing to do but can also help companies, communities and nations grow and succeed. The 21st Century, he said, will be “the century of women” as more women have greater opportunities to succeed professionally and as entrepreneurs.
...On the subject of enhancing and protecting Coca-Cola’s reputation as a business, he said it was essential to “do the right thing first” and later decide how best to tout those achievements.
Coca-Cola donated $2,500 to Ainsworth on September 4, 2018, and $2,000 to Reed on November 5, 2018.
AT&T supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
AT&T's corporate website stresses the importance of women to the company, promising to "make sure women at AT&T feel supported in everything they do."
Women play a big role at AT&T. With a workforce of 31% and a management team that's 35% female, women make a big impact in technology here....We're also fortunate to work with a lot of "Women Who Inspire" who are making a difference in their communities and the world at large. This is why we make sure women at AT&T feel supported in everything they do.
The company's chief diversity officer, Corey Anthony, said, "We have many incredibly talented female leaders at all levels and in all businesses across our company who are doing bold things for the industry, for customers and for each other. Equality at AT&T will remain my top priority, and I’m looking forward to see where we go together."
Over the last six years, AT&T has donated $10,000 to Ainsworth, $5,000 to Chambliss, $2,250 to Ledbetter, $2,000 to McCutcheon, and $2,500 to Reed.
Exxon supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Exxon stresses the importance of trusting women and giving them agency over their own lives.
Research shows that when women have control over their incomes, they invest in the health, education and well-being of their families. They also tend to reach out to propel other women forward, creating a powerful multiplier effect that benefits all of society. At ExxonMobil, we know that when women move forward, the world moves with them. That’s why in 2005, we launched our Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative — a global effort that helps women fulfill their economic potential and drive economic and social change in their communities.
Over the last six years, the company has donated $1,000 to Ainsworth, $1,000 to McCutcheon, $2,000 to Reed, and $500 to Ledbetter.
Pfizer supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer touts its commitment to equitable healthcare for women.
Health impacts multiple aspects of women’s daily lives, yet many lack access to quality care. In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we at Pfizer are committed to advancing Global Goal 5, gender equality, by improving access to equitable healthcare for women in underserved communities.
Investments in women’s health and gender equality must be prioritized to help create healthier communities worldwide, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day. By harnessing our collective efforts to press forward for gender equality, we can make a difference in the lives of women who need it most.
Pfizer donated $1,000 to Chambliss in December 2017, and $500 to Reed in January 2018.
Walmart supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Walmart's corporate materials stress the company's commitment "to celebrating, developing and lifting up women around the world – both within the company and in the communities we serve."
Since 2017, Walmart has donated $2,000 to Ledbetter, $3,000 to McCutcheon, and $2,000 to Reed.
Boeing supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Boeing insists its committed to "empowering women." In 2017, the company donated $2,000 to McCutcheon and $1,000 to Reed.
State Farm supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
State Farm says it is "consistently recognized as an employer committed to diversity and inclusion."
Diversity and inclusion is central to everything we do. It’s evident in every relationship we have – within the workplace where all associates are treated with respect and dignity, across the marketplace by how we interact with our customers and suppliers, and in the community through charitable giving and community service.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in how we value relationships, how we conduct business, and how we lead our organization.
State Farm donated $5,000 to McCutcheon in 2018, and $1,000 to Chambliss in 2017.
Eli Lilly supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Eli Lilly says it understands the unique challenges facing women and is committed to "removing barriers."
At Lilly, we care about our people. All of them. In 2015, we began an initiative to understand the experience of women and minorities in our workforce.
We listened, and we learned. And then we took action to assess and address any hidden barriers for women and minorities – to pave the way for a more open, engaging and inclusive culture for everyone.
Eli Lilly donated $3,000 to McCutcheon in 2018 and $1,000 to Reed in 2017.
Caterpillar supports the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has a webpage devoted to gender equality, featuring testimonials from employees on the importance of supporting women. An excerpt:
I am proud to see the direction that Caterpillar is moving in relation to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. I had my own beliefs and motivation to join the Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) Hamburg chapter a few months ago, but after the Breakthrough Leadership Men as Allies workshop, “He Said. She Said.” sessions and other WIN events, it was clear to me the importance of being a “well-intentioned man” on this journey.
Men often don’t recognize our “privileged” position and have a difficult time foreseeing the challenges female colleagues may face daily. I’ve learned that being empathic as much as possible is useful to minimize any gender or diversity issue. I also find it helpful to avoid focusing on differences (e.g. gender), but focus on the individual and his/her skills to accomplish a determined goal. If we start by ourselves to avoid putting gender in the discussion, I believe that little by little a more equal environment will arise.
Caterpillar donated $2,500 to Ainsworth in 2014.
Other companies supporting the Republicans behind Alabama's abortion ban
Koch Industries, run by the supposedly libertarian Koch brothers, donated $2,500 to Ainsworth, $1,500 to Chambliss, $1,500 to Ledbetter, and $2,000 to Reed.
The fantasy sports site Draft Kings donated $5,000 to McCutcheon, and $500 to Ainsworth.
Tobacco-maker Altria donated $1,000 to Chambliss, and $500 to Reed.
Cable provider Comcast donated $2,500 to McCutcheon.
Health insurance giant Caremark donated $1,500 to McCutcheon.
Anheuser-Busch donated $1,000 to McCutcheon, and $1,500 to Reed.
UPDATE (5/16): The corporate contributors to Governor Ivey:
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