Even though practically all of Hollywood and various tech companies have threatened to boycott Georgia if lawmakers do not overturn the recently enacted fetal heartbeat law, the state’s largest employer – Delta Airlines – has opted to stay neutral.
“Delta Air Lines is one of the largest employers in Georgia, but the airline’s chief executive said Tuesday the company will not take a stand on the state’s restrictive abortion law, which other corporate leaders have called ‘bad for business,'” reports NBC News.
The fetal heartbeat law essentially bans abortion once doctors detect an unborn child’s heartbeat in the mother’s womb, which typically happens after 5-6 weeks of pregnancy. Ed Bastian, Delta Airlines CEO, said that the courts should decide the law’s fate.
“This is something that the courts need to settle and resolve, not corporate America. At least for us. I can’t win,” Bastian said at Recode’s annual Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Bastian added that the company did not want to take a stand on “an issue that is uncomfortable” for the many employees and customers that patronize Delta Airlines. “We carry 200 million people a year, we have 80,000 employees,” he said. “We cannot as a company take one group and put it over another group when you’ve got such an emotional — some would say almost religious — view as to what the right answer is.”
Last week, CEOs from more than 180 companies released an ad in the New York Times denouncing the abortion bans in states like Georgia and Alabama as being “bad for business.”
“Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time,” the ad stated. “When everyone is empowered to succeed, our companies, our communities, and our economy are better for it. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values, and is bad for business.”
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, publicly thanked the CEOs for “taking a stand on behalf of employees.”
“NARAL applauds the business leaders signing the #DontBanEquality letter for taking a stand on behalf of their employees, customers, and communities, and affirming the mainstream view that women deserve to be able to make private, personal medical decisions without politicians interfering,” Hogue said.
At the same time, major Hollywood studios, from Netflix to Disney to NBCUniversal, have all threatened to boycott filming in the state of Georgia if the heartbeat law does not get overturned by the courts.
“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters. “Right now we are watching it very carefully. If [the bill] becomes law, I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”
Knowing fully well that film companies will suffer huge financial losses if they renounce Georgia’s generous tax breaks, actress and abortion advocate Alyssa Milano released an actual abortion map where companies should and should not film.