On Thursday, September 2, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
He was making the business case for the new abortion law which allows anyone to sue anyone who performs or aids in an abortion.
Morgan Brennan asked the governor: “Forbes is out with a survey with a headline that two-thirds of college-educated workers may avoid Texas now because of this abortion ban. What’s your response?”
Abbott replied, “Month after month after month, including the most recent month, shows that people are choosing to move to Texas more than any other state in the United States, and it’s not even close.”
Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson talked to NPR‘s Rachel Martin about the governor’s interview: “You know, our governor is just whistling past the graveyard. It’s too early to know. Companies that decided to relocate made that decision a year ago, two years ago. It’s – you know, we can’t judge anything by what’s happening at the moment.”
Martin then asked: “It’s one thing if Governor Abbott says that we need to just separate business from politics. But for corporations and businesses, politics is a big part of their brand. It can be, anyway – how consumers perceive them.”
Tomilson responded, “Well, undoubtedly, consumers, Americans in general expect their corporate leaders, the makers of the products they care about, to take stands on social issues. And often, employees have high expectations from their employers. So I think what we’re going to see is a slowdown of companies coming to Texas because their employers don’t want to come here, and the CEOs don’t want to be associated with it.”
But what about companies that already have staff in Texas?
Today Bospar is offering one example of how companies can help. We are announcing today that we will pay relocation expenses of staff members needing to leave Texas for control of their reproductive health. We will do this for both men and women and will offer this plan to other staff members if other states pass laws that implement abortion restrictions similar to those in Texas.
There are several reasons for this. Selfishly, as a company that wants to retain and attract the best talent, we think this makes complete business sense, considering that most of our staff are women. We will leave the other reasons for theologians, ethicists, philosophers, and politicians to hash out.
Sarah Freeman, a Bospar senior account executive based in Austin, observed that in the battle for a woman’s right to choose, companies themselves now face a choice. “Companies and businesses with employees in Texas have a choice: offer employees control of their own reproductive health or risk them leaving. Right now, my friends in their 20s and 30s are asking themselves, ‘Should I leave Texas?’ Since Bospar pioneered the virtual work-from-home model on a national level in 2015, relocating and staying with my company is no problem. Now that the agency is offering to pay for relocation, that makes the decision process that much easier.”
At Bospar we believe this relocation program – or evacuation program – makes good business sense. We predict other companies will take similar action to retain the best talent until Texas reverses this self-inflicted brain drain. While we are disappointed that other agencies and companies have not taken similar stances yet, we realize this is what true leadership is like: taking a stand first and leading the way.