The revelation of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade has shaken Americans on both sides of the political aisle.
First reported by Politico, the 89-page document was authored by most of the court’s current conservative justices, including Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Chief Justice John Roberts was not cited in the opinion, which was written by Alito. You can read the full text of it here.
Now, corporate America is scrambling to find a response that is inline with both their business values and what consumers expect from their brand.
Perhaps seasoned by the last six years of full-on culture wars, most businesses have quietly been sitting on the sidelines since news broke Monday night.
That particular strategy is now becoming less tenable, after multiple companies said May 4 that they would support employees who need abortion access and criticized the court’s opinion, even thought it is not yet law.
Other major corporate figures also jumped into the fray, including Facebook parent Meta Platforms’ Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Sandberg Goes Public With SCOTUS Criticism
In an Instagram post appearing May 2, Sandberg said that the news of a majority opinion potentially overturning established law on abortion rights had created a “scary day.”
She then went on to outline her personal opinion and reiterated support for women and their right to choose what to do with their own bodies.
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“This is a scary day for women all across our country. If the leaked draft opinion becomes the law of the land, one of our most fundamental rights will be taken away,” Sandberg wrote.
“Every woman, no matter where she lives, must be free to choose whether and when she becomes a mother. Few things are more important to women’s health and equality.”
Sandberg’s Fans Are Well-Mobilized
The fact that Sandberg weighed in on the Roe debate is unsurprising — she has long built a brand focused on women’s empowerment at the corporate level.
Her 2013 book, “Lean In,” about how women should take advantage of difficult times in their life to “lean in” to their careers had sold almost five million copies by 2019.
The book also faced immediate and scathing criticism for its ham-handed approach to race, class and what feminism means if you aren’t a wealthy white woman who can afford domestic help and full-time childcare.
“I tell women, that whole ‘you can have it all’ — nope, not at the same time; that’s a lie,” Michelle Obama said of the book on Dec. 1, 2018. “It’s not always enough to lean in, because that s— doesn’t work all the time.”
But she has continued to cultivate an image separate from being Facebook’s mouthpiece during its increasingly fraught public stumbles.
Her immediate pushback against a potential overturning of Roe v. Wade is in step with her fan base and what they may be feeling in the wake of envisioning an America without a federal law protecting abortion rights.