'Bad for business': Executives from major companies sign joint letter against abortion bans

Executives in cosmetic, technology and media industries are standing up for reproductive health care as a mounting list of states moves to ban abortion. 

Nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter opposing laws that restrict access to abortion saying they are "bad for business."

The letter appeared Monday as a full-page ad in the New York Times with the title "Don't Ban Equality." 

Among the companies represented in the letter were Yelp, H &M, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc, and Bloomberg L.P.  

"Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and goes against our values and is bad for business," the letter says. "It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out."

The executives said together that they represented more than 108,000 workers.

Kristin Mink of Silver Spring, Md., holds her 3-week-old daughter during a protest against state abortion bans outside the Supreme Court on May 21, 2019.

The letter was spearheaded by abortion-rights advocates Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights. The groups say they are welcoming more CEOs and business leaders to sign the letter online

The support from executives comes after dozens of Hollywood celebrities vowed to boycott Georgia after it passed a six-week ban on abortion. Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia have also said they would stop filming in Georgia if the law goes into effect next year. 

In recent months, several states have passed some of the most restrictive abortion bans the nation has seen since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. 

Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi joined Georgia in enacting laws that ban abortion after six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected. 

Alabama enacted a near total-ban on abortions this year; there are no exceptions for rape or incest.  

Last month, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill that outlaws abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy without exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

State officials there have also refused to renew the license for Missouri's only abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. A judge issued a temporary stay to keep the clinic open as the issue is battled in court.