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Why Startups and Local Communities Are Making Controversial Abortion Laws a Business Issue

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14.06.2019

As anti-abortion laws pick up newfound support in statehouses across the country, they may come at a cost to both startups and area business communities.

Nine U.S. states--Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah--have in the past five months passed laws restricting abortions, ranging from a near total ban on the procedure to bans after six weeks of pregnancy without exceptions for rape or incest. Two of these laws are already in effect and three have been temporarily blocked by a judge. (Many of the states pushing restrictive abortion laws are hoping to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gave women legal access to abortion.) And while the remainder are expected to go into effect between now and January 2020, businesses and local economies say they're already feeling the consequences.

As of June 11, entrepreneurs and executives from more than 180 companies including Warby Parker, Slack, Square, and H&M signed a letter that appeared as a full-page ad in The New York Times denouncing the laws. They say that access to comprehensive reproductive care--including abortion--is necessary for business and the economic stability of their employees and customers.

The letter further reads: "It 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."

The backlash is also hitting states directly. In Georgia, entertainment companies like........

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