About Don’t Ban Equality
Don’t Ban Equality is a coalition of nearly 1,000 businesses making the clear case that public policies that restrict reproductive health care are bad for business.
What DBE does:
- The coalition publicly asserts that restricting reproductive healthcare negatively affects business efforts to promote workplace equity, build diverse and inclusive workforces; recruit top talent across states, and ensure the well-being of workers, communities, and the economy.
- DBE supports businesses with private briefings; best practices in supporting workers and their families, advocating for reproductive health access in the communities where they operate; and via working groups on advocacy, workforce, and marketing and communications.
- DBE tracks trends in the private sector on supporting abortion access, from internal policies to shareholder engagement.
Reach and impact of signers:
- Don’t Ban Equality launched in response to the alarming number of state abortion bans passed in 2019, when more than 330 business leaders stepped up to join the coalition.
- As of June 2023, there are nearly 1,000 Don’t Ban Equality companies, headquartered in 40 states, as well as global companies with significant US employee bases.
- Major signers include Unilever, Levi Strauss, J. Crew, Logitech, Etsy, Nordstrom, Niantic and Yelp.
- Members span small businesses (64%), midsize companies (17%), and large companies (10.5%).
- These businesses touch every corner of Americans’ lives, from agriculture to tech to consumer goods to energy to finance. Signers report no notable blowback in response to their public stance; rather they have received positive feedback from workers and other stakeholders.
Public support for abortion rights
- Companies are responsive to workforce needs – such as the rapid response to ensure travel benefits for abortion as state bans went into effect in 2022 – because this is a clear health, safety, and privacy issue.
- 74% of adults, and 79% of women of reproductive age, believe that abortion should be a personal choice rather than regulated by law.
- Among adults under age 30, 74% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
- In the 2022 midterms, everywhere abortion was on the ballot, in red and blue states, the people protected access. Ballot initiatives specific to abortion access had favorable outcomes in states like Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan.
Business impacts of reproductive care bans
- Public policies that restrict reproductive care are bad for business. They impair a company’s ability to build robust workforce pipelines; to recruit top talent across states; to harmonize benefits across operational locations; and to protect the well-being and privacy of their people.
- When people have access to comprehensive reproductive care (including abortion care), they have better access to education, careers, family planning and quality of life, which positively impacts businesses and the economy.
- Women in states with abortion bans are nearly three times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth or soon after giving birth. (Gender Equity Policy Institute, 2023).
- Economic losses from existing reproductive care restrictions, including labor force impact and earnings, already cost state economies an estimated $105 billion annually.
- Women who don’t have access to abortion care are three times more likely to leave the workforce and four times more likely to live in poverty. (Key data here and here.)
- According to the Center for American Progress: Of the 27 states with some kind of abortion ban on the books, 22 have poverty rates for women above the national average and 17 have poverty rates for children above the national average.
Workers are increasingly considering company actions when evaluating employment options:
- A majority of Republican (68%), Democratic (86%) and Independent (74%) workers think their employer should take concrete steps to protect abortion access.
- 57% of 18-34 year olds say their employers are not doing enough to ensure abortion access for their employees.
- More than half of young women are making plans about where to live based on whether abortion is accessible in a state. As of January 2023, 53% say their lives have already been impacted by bans, 44% have considered moving or are making plans to move to a state where abortion is protected, and 10% have already declined a job in a state where abortions are banned.
- 34% of younger workers are considering switching jobs to a company that publicly supports abortion.
- 64% of college-educated workers say contributions to candidates who support bans would make them feel less positively about their company (vs. more positively, 14%).
Workers are also thinking about where they want to live in the context of reproductive rights:
- By a 2:1 margin, employed adults would prefer to live in a state where abortion is legal and accessible.
- 65% of college-educated workers say that they would be discouraged from taking a job in a state where politicians are trying to restrict access to reproductive care.
- 63% of college-educated workers say they will not apply for a job in a state that passes legislation similar to Texas’ SB 8 “bounty” ban.
- 65% of college-educated workers assume that states that protect abortion rights are more likely to have good healthcare, good-paying jobs, and a higher quality of life.
Consumers are engaged as well:
- 77% of consumers consider reproductive health care an important issue; 91% of Gen Z and 86% of Millennial consumers say it is important.
- 86% of consumers say it is important that brands take a stand on reproductive health.
Access to reproductive healthcare is a core business issue because it impacts operations, benefits, culture, workforce health and safety, and competitiveness for talent – and it is backed by bipartisan public opinion.