With the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, many companies have come out in support of abortion rights. Disney is one of those companies. They have vowed to help women travel to access abortions.
Representative Michael Cloud, R-Texas, however, worries this could have an unintended consequence. He sent letters to companies, including Disney, where he expressed concern that these statements could make women who choose to have children feel unsupported and pressured. He also is concerned that the companies are using abortion access as an excuse to exploit women saying, “I’m concerned that major corporations are pressuring women to receive abortions rather than taking time away from work through maternity leave. Women should feel supported in their decision to balance their family with work. If these companies are exploiting women under the guise of abortion access, then we have a serious problem.”
Cloud also expressed concern that the support of women’s reproductive rights is not being addressed equally. His concern, specifically, is that companies have openly voiced support for one side and not the other. Cloud said the emphasis on abortion access rather than highlighting their paid leave policies could give the impression of a work environment unfavorable to pregnant women.
“Women have historically faced discrimination for being pregnant due to the number of days women will be absent from the workforce due to the birth and care of their children,” Cloud wrote, “they should not feel coerced into seeking an abortion instead of taking time off to have their child, especially since women are already having fewer children than they want.”
In his letter, Cloud reminded the companies that federal law prohibits discrimination due to pregnancy status but mentioned that it’s still happening. “During this time of historically high inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, and baby formula shortages, it is imperative that women feel they are supported in their decision to balance their family with their work,” wrote Cloud.
Disney did not respond to Yahoo News when they reached out for comment about the letter.
It is important to note that the Walt Disney Company offers a number of benefits for families, including paid maternity and paternity leave, infertility treatments, and onsite child care (though Cast Members do pay for this benefit out of pocket).