In the 15 months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 15 U.S. states have implemented an outright ban on abortion, and another seven have banned the procedure after six-, 12-, 15- or 18-weeks of pregnancy. Amid this environment, many of America’s largest corporations have announced travel reimbursement policies and other benefits for employees who live in states that restrict abortion access—because these bans have well-documented physical, psychological and financial effects on people who seek abortion care yet cannot receive it.
And yet, according to Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, the business world could be doing a lot more for reproductive healthcare access. “The travel benefits are the bare minimum,” she said on stage at the Forbes Power Women’s Summit in New York City on September 14. “I think we have to really call out the hypocrisy of corporations sitting in states with criminal laws on the books around how we access care [and] who are there because they want tax breaks, because they want deregulation, while they’re also championing equity and equality in the workplace.”
After stepping off of the Forbes stage, McGill Johnson sat down with ForbesWomen editor Maggie McGrath to continue the conversation. She spoke about the state ballot initiatives and shield laws she’s watching; why those who are concerned about rollbacks to contraceptive access are right to be concerned; and why any federal law on reproductive healthcare access needs to be better than what Roe was.
“Roe was not a rights-based framework. It was one that was predicated on privacy and burden and gestation,” she said. “I think we really want to talk about what it means to be in the Constitution as full and equal citizens.”
McGill Johnson also spoke about the “trillion-dollar” economic opportunity that exists in the reproductive and sexual health space for any investor or entrepreneur who wants to devote their time and attention to the sector. To see her full comments, check out the video below: