Americans can now take comfort in the knowledge that the CEO of Thinx underwear (don’t Google it) is really upset about the wave of abortion restrictions sweeping across the country. If it had known that corporate executives could be such clarions of moral leadership, perhaps the New York Times would have thought better of deriding their compensation packages. Can we afford to put a price on corporate responsibility in these perilous times?
The executives from Thinx and 179 other large corporations have banded together to rebuke the strides made by the anti-abortion movement in state legislatures around the country. The result was a joint statement, released on Monday, titled “Don’t Ban Equality.” The entire statement is a gratuitous assault on the English language. Who exactly is trying to “ban equality”? And “equality” for whom? The unborn child? The mother? The CEO of Thinx?
This paragraph is indicative of the whole:
Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time.
When everyone is empowered to succeed, our companies, our communities and our economy are better for it.
The word “everyone” is used rather, er, loosely here. Certainly, one of the two parties privy to an abortion is made worse off by the procedure. Often, both are. Do forceps and a curette ensure that unborn children are “empowered to succeed?” Unshaken, the letter continues: “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers.”
“Care” is a word that, to the literalist, refers to “the activity, skill, or profession of looking after someone who needs help or protection.” As employed by the cosigning companies, it takes on a different meaning, something closer to “violence.” Indeed, the piecemeal dismemberment of a nascent human life seems, to the more brutally precise reader, antonymic to “reproductive care.”
There is a one-line reprieve from the otherwise imprecise and sloganeering tone of the letter: “Simply put, [anti-abortion legislation] goes against our values and is bad for business.”
That they consider unborn children to be “bad for business” is a standalone indictment of all 180 companies, but none so much as the insufferably left-wing ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s has no moral authority to lecture consumers about campaign finance so long as it feeds the unborn to Moloch in the name of “business.”
The letter goes on, in spite of itself, and admits that pro-life measures might hamper the “ability” of signatories “to build a diverse and inclusive workforce”: Anti-abortion legislation “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.”
What does this paragraph mean? The entire document is, of course, intentionally imprecise; as one becomes more literal about abortion, it grows increasingly likely that the quiet parts will be said out loud. There seem to be three divergent and similarly heinous interpretations that emerge from this paragraph; first, that abortion is the only means by which women can be adequately “included” in the workforce. That to me seems the most plausible, if only because it has been a staple of the pro-choice argument for a generation. The second interpretation, not altogether unrelated to the first, is that “women of color” procure abortions disproportionately and that therefore, given the logic of the first assertion, the implementation of abortion restrictions would unduly burden racial minorities. This is an impossible thing to say out loud, not least because to do so is to tacitly cheers along as racial minorities kill their unborn children, but it’s quite possible that this is an intentional part of the paragraph’s subtext. A third, much more remote possibility is that the signatories consider injections of intra-amniotic digoxin a means for the unborn to join “diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines.”
Not likely, but how likely was it that Ben & Jerry’s would admit so publicly that it condones terminating the pregnancies of racial minorities?
The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk.
These companies hide behind all manner of euphemism and evasion because the propositions they defend in this document are utterly monstrous. This letter commends abortion as a boon to “families, communities, businesses and the economy,” and the signatories signed it, fully aware of the disparate political loyalties of their customers. They were willing to sign it anyway, because abortion, “a diverse and inclusive workforce,” and the bottom line are far more important to them than the lives of unborn children.
At least they told us.