For Immediate Release: April 23, 2019
Today, The Harris Poll and NARAL released a new report that explores employee and consumer attitudes about reproductive freedom, with a focus on the role businesses should play. The report, Stand Up and Stand Out: The Business Case for Reproductive Rights, suggests that by taking action to protect reproductive freedom, companies can stand out to employees and consumers while truly moving the needle on women’s equality in the workplace.
Women’s equality in the workplace is one of the most important issues of our time. But women’s reproductive freedom, an important aspect of their overall empowerment, is often missing from the conversation. Stand Up and Stand Out shows that consumers and employees want to see this change. Survey respondents overwhelmingly agree that women’s empowerment is tied to their reproductive freedom, which includes the ability to access birth control and abortion care, to go to work and not face discrimination when pregnant, and to have paid family leave to care for a new child.
“We know that the foundation of women’s professional success and economic empowerment is their ability to decide if, when and how to have a family. Those rights are currently under attack across the country,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL. “The business community—which has been instrumental in advancing women’s rights and protecting human rights—has a real and urgent opportunity to lead on reproductive freedom. As this research shows, it’s not just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do.”
The report’s key findings include:
The majority of employed adults see a clear link between reproductive rights and women’s empowerment—and believe that reproductive freedom is a human right.
- Majorities acknowledge and agree that women’s reproductive freedom is tied to their overall empowerment/equality (70%), economic stability (64%), and is important to their success in the workplace (67%).
Employed adults want companies to take action to protect reproductive rights.
- About two in three adults (67%) feel it is at least somewhat important for their employer to take a stand on reproductive freedom, including abortion.
Offering full reproductive care as part of benefits may help improve retention and recruitment.
- 60% of employees say they would be more loyal to a company that offers coverage for prenatal care, family planning, and abortion care.
- Nearly three in five millennials agree that benefits offering full reproductive care would be a deciding factor if they were choosing between two employment offers.
Public support of reproductive freedom may drive consumer purchases, too.
- Over half of employed adults (56%) say they would be more likely to buy from a company that publicly supports reproductive freedom.
Abortion is a personal issue, but not as polarizing as most companies think it is.
- Overall, three in four employed adults (75%) believe abortion should be legal, including 33.5% who believe having an abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal, and 41.5% who are personally against abortion but don’t believe the government should prevent a woman from deciding for herself.
- This is consistent with previous research, including the 2018 WSJ poll found that 71% of voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
As women’s reproductive freedom faces serious threats in states like Georgia and Ohio, business leaders—including the 90+ people who signed this letter—are starting to speak up. The new research can help further embolden companies to step up to protect women’s reproductive freedom; NARAL is committed to educating the business community about why that support is so critical and providing resources that can help companies take action.
The Harris Poll surveyed 1,271 U.S. adults ages 25+ who are employed full-time in October 2018. You can view more details about the study, explore the findings and access additional resources here.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”