Meta restricts employee discussions of Roe v Wade overturning

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 27-Jun-2022

The Supreme Court overthrew Roe v Wade, which gave women in America the constitutional right to have an abortion, on 24 June

Meta has reportedly restricted staff from openly discussing the overturning of America’s bedrock abortion law, Roe v Wade, according to insiders at the social media giant.

Moderators on the company’s internal workplace platform are removing posts mentioning abortions, claimed Meta Engineer, Ambroos Vaes, in a Linkedin post.

He added that limited discussion can take place in groups of up to 20 employees, but not openly.

An internal memo from Meta sent out on 12 May, and obtained by the New York Times, stated that “discussing an abortion openly at work has a heightened risk of creating a hostile work environment”.

Staff at Meta, who chose to remain anonymous, said the tech company’s policy puts “strong guardrails around social, political and sensitive conversations” in the workplace, the NYT reported.

Meta confirmed in an internal email on Friday that it would cover travel costs “to the extent permitted by law” for employees seeking reproductive services and out-of-state health care.

The Supreme Court implemented the decision to overthrow Roe v Wade – a 50-year-old case which gave women in America the constitutional right to have an abortion – on 24 June.

The changes mean women are now unable to legally carry out abortions across the US, with states now having the freedom to create their own abortion laws.

The decision has been met with widespread protests over reproductive rights and the risk that the ruling will increase women having to use unsafe methods of abortions.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Meta, took to Facebook to express her own frustrations at the ruling.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling jeopardises the health and the lives of millions of girls and women across the country,” said Sandberg.

“It threatens to undo the progress women have made in the workplace and to strip women of economic power.

"It will make it harder for women to achieve their dreams. And it will disproportionately impact women with the fewest resources."

Beauty brands have also taken to social media to show their support for women following the ruling.

e.l.f. posted on Instagram that it was “heartbroken and devastated by the Supreme Court’s announcement”.

Benefit Cosmetics, meanwhile, pinned two previous posts on its Instagram homepage regarding its stance on reproductive rights for women.

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