24 Em­ploy­ers Com­mit To Birth Con­trol Cov­er­age As Planned Par­ent­hood Fights Trump Ad­min

ForbesWeekly - - NEWS - BY CLARE O’CON­NOR, FORBES STAFF FOL­LOW CLARE O’CON­NOR AT www.forbes.com/sites/clare­o­con­nor

Twenty-four em­ploy­ers, in­clud­ing house­hold-name com­pa­nies like Uber and Levi’s, have pub­licly com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing their work­ers have ac­cess to birth con­trol cov­er­age in the face of an on­go­ing at­tack on women’s health­care rights by the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

This pledge is part of a concerted push Planned Par­ent­hood calls its “big­gest birth con­trol cam­paign ever.”

Women-led star­tups Rent the Run­way, Bum­ble, Birch­box and Style Seat are among the ear­li­est to join the health­care non­profit’s #Busi­nessForBC cam­paign, although Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Dawn Laguens ex­pects more com­pa­nies to add their names in com­ing days and weeks.

“Birth con­trol ben­e­fits were hard­won to be­gin with,” she told Forbes. “We started talk­ing with our friends in busi­ness and in tech, who thought it was just out­ra­geous [that the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion seeks to gut re­pro­duc­tive ben­e­fits]. Most busi­nesses, we be­lieve, stand with their women em­ploy­ees. With all em­ploy­ees. Last I checked, ev­ery­one was ben­e­fit­ing from birth con­trol.

Founders and CEOs promis­ing to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive re­pro­duc­tive and birth con­trol cov­er­age in­clude Rent the Run­way’s Jenn Hy­man, a long­time women’s rights ad­vo­cate who leads the grow­ing fash­ion tech busi­ness.

“If we hope to live in a so­ci­ety that is truly equal, where at least 50% of lead­ers and 50% of the work­place are women, women must be given the op­por­tu­nity to plan the tim­ing of their fam­i­lies,” she said. “Ac­cess to birth con­trol is crit­i­cal to her abil­ity to do this.”

Warby Parker’s Neil Blu­men­thal said the eye­wear com­pany’s 1,300-plus em­ploy­ees will con­tinue to have ac­cess to no-co­pay birth con­trol what­ever the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion tries to do.

“This is about women’s rights, plain and sim­ple,” he said.

Planned Par­ent­hood’s Laguens cited ac­cess to birth con­trol as a cru­cial mea­sure if women are ever to achieve any­thing close to equal­ity in the work­force.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of the pill is one of the most trans­for­ma­tive mo­ments in busi­ness in­no­va­tion in the last 100 years,” she said. “If you want women to get an ed­u­ca­tion, and par­tic­i­pate in the econ­omy, and be healthy, you’re go­ing to back women’s re­pro­duc­tive health. And if you don’t, you’re out­side the norm.” FW

Planned Par­ent­hood pres­i­dent Ce­cile Richards on­stage at Forbes’ Women’s Sum­mit in 2017.

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