Apple’s Texas-Sized Problem

Judd Legum, writing at Popular Information:

On Friday, CEO Tim Cook answered a question about Apple’s stance on the Texas ban at an all-staff meeting. Cook said that “the company was looking into whether it could aid the legal fight against the new law.”

Apple has considerable leverage over the abortion debate in Texas and across the country — but it is not related to its ability to pay for lawyers. Apple’s leverage rests in its status as a major employer and driver of economic growth.

If Apple believes that its employees should be able to “make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health,” it could publicly state that it will not expand its workforce in states that limit abortion rights. That would have a major influence not only in Texas but in numerous states considering following Texas’ lead.

Last week, TechCrunch published the text of a company-wide memo posted to an internal Apple message board regarding Texas’s near-outlawing of abortion. It began:

A message about women’s reproductive health care

At Apple, we support our employees’ rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.

Legum is right — it’s untenable for Apple, or any other company, to “support our employees’ rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health” and ask any woman to work for the company in a state with a law like Texas’s. An immediate hiring and construction freeze in Texas — explicitly tied to this outrageous law (which makes no exceptions for rape or incest) — is the only tenable action compatible with Apple’s stated values.

David Simon, linking to Legum’s post:

If an employer, this is beyond politics. I’m turning in scripts next month on an HBO non-fiction miniseries based on events in Texas, but I can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there. What else looks like Dallas/Ft. Worth?

That’s the answer. You move your business out of Texas. Any company that expands or initiates new operations in Texas implicitly supports Texas’s abortion ban.

Thursday, 23 September 2021