Match’s Shar Dubey is one of the few CEOs publicly opposing Texas’s new abortion law

September 3, 2021, 1:03 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Theranos trial has a jury, Liz Cheney will be vice chair of the Jan. 6 commission, and just a few companies take a stand on abortion rights. Have a good weekend.

– Match point. Yesterday, Kristen asked whether businesses would speak out on the new Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks and empowers private citizens to sue any person who “aids and abets” a woman seeking the procedure later in pregnancy. Immediately after the law took effect, private companies were painfully silent on the new measure that strips women of their reproductive rights, even in this age of CEO activism and purpose-driven leadership.

Since yesterday’s Broadsheet, a few employers have piped up on the issue that divides Americans like few others. 

Bumble, the dating app business based in Austin and led by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, said on Instagram that it’s creating a “relief fund” for people seeking abortions in Texas under what the company called a “regressive law.” 

Another Texas-based dating app company, Match, responded in a similar way but was more outspoken on the matter. The company’s CEO, Shar Dubey, is creating a relief fund for Texas employees and dependents who are “impacted by this legislation and need to seek care outside of Texas.”

Dubey, who became chief executive of the Tinder and OkCupid parent last year, acknowledged in a memo to employees that topics like abortion are touchy; the company usually stays out of politics “​​unless it is relevant to our business,” she said. But Dubey made an exemption for the law, called SB 8, and went public with her personal views because the measure is so harmful to “the cause of women’s rights.” 

She said she “immigrated to America from India over 25 years ago and I have to say, as a Texas resident, I am shocked that I now live in a state where women’s reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India.”

For a story published yesterday, Emma asked roughly a dozen companies with big employee bases in Texas—including those like Tesla, Oracle, and HPE that recently expanded in the Lone Star State—about the law. Most didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Corporate silence on the issue is “shameful,” says Shelley Alpern, director of shareholder advocacy for Rhia Ventures who has worked to encourage companies to support reproductive rights.

But just because many companies haven’t taken a stand on the matter doesn’t mean they won’t. Alpern told Emma that employee pressure is what’s caused corporations to oppose measures like transgender ‘bathroom bills’ in the past. So for employers to speak up against the Texas abortion law, workers may have to do so first. 

Claire Zillman

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


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