08 May 2020 Progressive Corporation Dodges Question about Abortion Support
FEP Challenges Coordinated Strategy to Expand Corporate Support for Abortion
Washington, D.C. – The Free Enterprise Project called out the Progressive Corporation today for its collaboration with the far-left As You Sow network, which is actively working to increase corporate support for anti-life policies.
At today’s annual meeting of Progressive shareholders, Justin Danhof, Esq., General Counsel and FEP Director at the National Center for Public Policy Research, asked Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith:
For this annual meeting, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution seeking the company’s support for anti-life abortion policies. As You Sow subsequently withdrew its proposal noting it had reached an agreement with the company. As the Wall Street Journal has reported most proposals are withdrawn after the company accedes to some of the shareholders demands.
Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in America. Why did you choose to engage in such an acrimonious culture battle, and what concessions did you make to As You Sow to get them to pull their resolution?
In response, Griffith largely avoided the question and instead appeared to read a canned response that largely focused on its employee health care programs.
She said, in part:
Our goal is to have our employees across the United States reflect the diverse consumers and markets we serve and to offer those employees a culture, workplace and compensation benefits package that reflects their importance and value to our enterprise… Our current employee benefit policies, in our view, support employees in their role as parents and provide meaningful access to coverage for sexual and reproductive health services under insurance health plans provided by our organization, regardless of an employee’s geographic base or position.
She went on to claim, “we will continue to have discussions with As You Sow but there have not been any concessions made.”
“How vile and offensive that Griffith would talk so much about Progressive’s health care policies and support for employees and their families. And did she really invoke the company’s support for its employees as parents? Griffith’s abhorrent response may be the most tone-deaf statement I have ever received from a corporate executive. As You Sow is advocating for the destruction of human life – exactly the opposite of parenthood,” said Danhof. “How does that square up with Progressive’s support for employees and their families? All Progressive customers, employees and shareholders should be outraged by the company’s behavior.”
In a Breitbart opinion piece published earlier this year, Danhof called out As You Sow’s anti-life crusade, highlighting the fact that so much of corporate America already strongly supports the abortion industrial complex. With so many companies supporting groups such as Planned Parenthood and opposing pro-life legislation, Danhof wrote:
Why do so many American companies support the extermination of millions of potential future customers? It’s a question that the media really needs to start asking corporate executives… how is it good for businesses to kill off swaths of future consumers? If your company is directly involved in the abortion industrial complex, an argument could be made that you need to kill more babies to increase profits. But the companies that fund Planned Parenthood and oppose pro-life legislation don’t fit that bill.
To read Danhof’s entire commentary, “Corporations Killing Their Customers – Literally,” click here.
For more information on As You Sow’s push to garner more corporate support for anti-life policies, check out FEP’s Investor Value Voter Guide starting at page 48.
Today’s Progressive meeting marks the 14th time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2020.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
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