Analysis

Do these corporations really support pro-life laws, as pro-abortion groups claim? Not quite.

corporations, Disney

Pro-abortion groups have taken aim at several corporations this past week, claiming the companies have provided funding for Texas’s SB 8, popularly known as the Heartbeat Act, and for a similar bill being written in Florida. 

Democratic super-PAC American Bridge 21st Century, led by former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, has created a group of ads decrying the alleged influence of “big corporate money” from Disney, AT&T, and NBCUniversal in supporting these bills. Meanwhile, the Women’s March has launched a petition to urge companies “to immediately cease all political support for the anti-choice politicians who’s [sic] bill functionally ended abortion access in Texas.” The companies named by the March are AT&T, Charter Communications, Berkshire Hathaway, Exelon, UnitedHealth Group, Union Pacific, and Chevron.

This is an ironic move on the part of both groups. None of the corporations on the list could be characterized as champions for life, and some are quite the opposite. Disney, for example, threatened to cease all filming in Georgia over pro-life legislation passed in that state in 2019. And NBCUniversal donated more than twice as much money to candidates who opposed SB 8 as they did to those who supported it. 

READ: Disney works in oppressive countries, yet threatens to flee pro-life Georgia

Most of the other corporations play both ends against the middle, politically speaking. AT&T appears to donate to both Republican and Democratic candidates in exactly equal proportions. The average of Charter Communications’ and Exelon’s political donations has similarly been roughly equal since 2008, albeit with a slight preference for Republicans. And although Union Pacific and Chevron give a clear majority of their political donations to Republican candidates, they also give a significant amount to Democratic candidates. UnitedHealth Group, on the other hand, has consistently given the lion’s share to Democratic candidates since 2008. 

It should be noted that donations to one party or the other do not necessarily equate to a particular position on the issue of abortion, which a spokesman from AT&T was quick to note, saying, “AT&T has never taken a position on the issue of abortion,” and “AT&T’s employee political action committees have never based contribution decisions on a legislator’s positions on the issue of abortion.…” 

However, one company on the list does have an inferrable position on the issue of abortion, due to its vested financial interest therein — and that position is not pro-life. The chair and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, as well as its leading shareholder, is Warren Buffett. Buffett is one of the billionaires who is invested in and profiting from worldwide sales of the abortion pill.

It is a common practice for corporations to donate to candidates on both sides of the aisle as a way of ensuring their interests are represented no matter who is in office. Cecile Richards’ American Bridge PAC and the organizers of the Women’s March may risk making enemies of their allies by accusing flagrantly pro-abortion companies of nonexistent pro-life actions.

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