Legatus: Abortion travel as a perk? Pro-lifers offer alternatives

When he heard about businesses offering to pay their employees’ abortion travel expenses following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, legate Peter Rex devised a pro-life alternative.

His offer to employees of Texas-based Rex, which builds and invests in tech companies, was a $7,500 payment to those who chose adoption over abortion. The amount was higher than any offered by any company for abortion expenses ­— and, as Rex explained, “I had the idea of mimicking what [other companies] are doing but paying to save a life instead.”

The founder and CEO of the company that bears his name said with so many other businesses agreeing to pay for employees to travel to states where abortions are available, he could not let stand the impression that every entrepreneur supports abortion. “First of all,” Rex said, “it’s not true. There are ones who disagree, but they don’t want to lose business or employees or have investors turn on them.”
Still, the response by abortion advocates to the June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization can easily leave anyone with pro-life views feeling outnumbered as governors invite women to have their abortions in states where the procedure remains available and businesses jump on the abortion bandwagon. This has occurred despite a report from Breitbart before the Dobbs decision that a major public-relations firm was advising its clients to stay silent on the abortion issue. According to an internal email obtained by Popular Information, the company suggested that taking a public stance on divisive issues can be “no-win,” alienating 15-to-30 percent of stakeholders.


Convenience Factor

In many cases, companies waving the abortion banner have a monopoly— as is true in the tech sector — or offer such a degree of convenience as to make it challenging to find a reasonable substitute. For instance, consumers whose only grocery option within 35 miles is a Kroger store may have little choice but to shop at the chain, which has agreed to cover abortion travel costs for its employees. On the other hand, those who simply enjoy the material benefits of shopping online via Amazon, which also is paying for abortion travel, could investigate less-expedient alternatives.
When no other option is readily available, Melanie Israel, policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, suggests giving extra money to a local pregnancy resource center or buying canned goods for the local food pantry. “Everybody has a role to play in building a culture of life, and it doesn’t look the same for everyone,” said Israel.

Maggee Becker of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which is in a state that is becoming a target for “abortion tourism” because of its wide access to abortion, acknowledged that seeking substitutes can feel burdensome and unrealistic. “But it is important for people to consider that each of our decisions affects not only ourselves, but those around us,” said Becker. “And in this case, our decisions can affect the lives of the unborn and their mothers.”
Becker said she thinks the pro-life side often is not willing to give up products and services they obtain from businesses that undermine their core values.
“We are all guilty of it,” she said. “It is hard, and you cannot simply cut yourself off from modern economic life. But there are many things we do not need that we will still patronize, particularly in the restaurant and entertainment industries.” 

Although she believes the pro-life movement should be one of evangelization with a goal of changing hearts and minds, “it is undoubtedly the case that money talks,” Becker said. “The possibility of economic consequences may not change a business or a city’s politics, but it may make them less vocal in support of abortion. That is a win. We have to be comfortable using these sorts of tactics when, considered prudently, they don’t undermine the cause of the gospel.”


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