Beauty brands unite against Texas’ abortion ban

By Becky Bargh | Published: 9-Sep-2021

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and cosmetics heavyweight Benefit, among others, are offering support to women in the state

Goop, the beauty brand of Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and global brow specialists Benefit Cosmetics are among the cosmetics brands that have condemned Texas’ new abortion law.

Last week, the Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as SB8 or the Senate Bill 8, came into force, banning abortion in the state once a foetal heartbeat is detectable, which is typcally found in the sixth week of pregnancy.

The only exception to terminate a pregnancy is in the case of a medical emergency, with no exceptions made for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest.

Consumers worldwide have furiously criticised the decision, as it is the first time a US state has overturned America’s 1973 Roe v. Wade case, which gave women in the country the right to choose whether or not to have abortions, and is – arguably – one of the country’s most famous laws.

To show solidarity with women in the region who have had their reproductive rights “severely and unjustly limited”, according to Goop, the brand shared a watercolour sketch of flowers in the shape of a uterus with a number of resources for women to contact if they seek abortion care and information.

Meanwhile, Benefit shared a digital sketch of a female body with writing across her belly that reads: ‘Keep your laws off my body’.

The caption said: “As a brand built on women’s empowerment and as a proud @plannedparenthood partner, we stand with all those seeking access to safe, affordable healthcare.

“Right now, the right to life-saving care is under attack; the nation’s most extreme abortion ban just took effect in Texas, essentially deputising private citizens to enforce a dangerous and restrictive law.”

Like Goop, the brand published contact details on how consumers can help support campaigners supporting women’s rights to have an abortion.

Saie Beauty, a new ‘clean’ make-up brand, also publicly damned the decision in Texas on social media.

It wrote: “We built Saie to be a brand that believes everyone should have the right to feel good in their body and feel empowered to make their own choices for their personal well being.

“We stand in solidarity with all those seeking access to these choices including safe and affordable healthcare, especially those protecting their reproductive rights.

Dieux Skin, a US skin care brand, meanwhile, donated an additional US$1 of every product it sold during America’s Labor Day weekend, from 4-5 September, to Planned Parenthood, a not-for-profit organisation that offers sexual healthcare to people around the world.

“As a new month is here, since September 1st, something else has been weighing heavy on us,” the brand shared in a post with its nearly 40,000 followers.

“This is a law [SB8] to punish women coded as ‘protecting life’,” it continued.

“It is simply a human right to have freedom over one’s body. This law will disproportionately impact black and brown communities along with anyone that doesn’t have the means to travel to another state or area to make what is already a difficult decision.”

Beauty’s campaigners

In recent years, beauty brands have not shied away from political and social fallouts.

Many took to the political podium in 2020 to encourage consumers to vote during the hostile US election campaign, which saw the now 46th US President, Joe Biden, narrowly eject Donald Trump from the White House.

Estée Lauder Companies, as part of its effort to get voters to polling stations, offered all US staff working on 3 November a half day of paid time off, while Unilever lobbied congress to ensure safe voting methods for people during the pandemic.

Also in 2020, cosmetics brands rallied to support the Black Lives Matter movement, which was reignited across the world following the death of African American George Floyd in police custody.

It Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Living Proof and Morphe were among the brands to offer monetary donations to non-profit organisations, while Fenty Beauty, NARS, Glow Recipe and Uoma voiced their support to the #BlackLivesMatters cause via social media.

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