These female CEOs united to stand for reproductive rights—and issued a challenge to corporate America
Abortion is a human right, and we won’t stop fighting until we’ve defeated unconstitutional bans. The latest group to take a stand? Several CEOs and co-founders of women-owned wellness companies. On Tuesday, May 21st, they united and published a full-page open letter in The New York Times. In the letter, they spoke out against the recent abortion bans and challenged corporate America to take a stand and continue to fight for the right to safe and accessible abortions.
The letter was signed by Adriel Denae and Jen Auerbach of Clary Collection, Molly Hayward of Cora, Alex Fine and Janet Lieberman of Dame, Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung of Fur, Erica Chidi Cohen and Quinn Lundberg of LOOM, Maria Molland of THINX Inc, and Meika Hollender of Sustain Natural. Together, they declared that “Abortion is a human right.”
This show of unity from a coalition of seven women-owned wellness brands—some that are in direct competition with one another—is a powerful response to recent legislation out of states like Alabama and Georgia. These abortion bans strip away the right to choose from women, trans, and non-binary individuals who seek to terminate a pregnancy, particularly in traumatic cases like rape or incest.
On why it was important to use this open letter to take a stand, Meika Hollender, CEO and co-founder of Sustain Natural, told HelloGiggles via email:
“As the news continued to break last week, one of the first things I thought to do was pick up the phone and call my peers, my friends—including those who many may view as my competitors—to share why I felt it was critical we band together and show our community, our teams, and women everywhere that we have their backs. Together, we pledged to stand up and speak out on this issue because far too much is at stake; because we wouldn’t be where we are today without these rights; and because it’s no longer acceptable to stay silent.
Erica Chidi Cohen, CEO and cofounder at LOOM, who has also worked as a doula, sees “abortion as a health-seeking behavior that should be safely accessible to anyone with a uterus.”
Dame’s Alex Fine stressed the importance of unity during this time. From now until the end of May, the company will donate $3 from every sale to the Yellowhammer Fund.
“Having a uterus means being confronted with tough and often expensive decisions, even without all the legal restrictions. Here in America, our sexual education is poor, and our healthcare is exorbitantly expensive, making these choices even tougher. We can’t afford to have fewer options available to us, or higher barriers to pursuing them.
All of the women involved unapologetically declared in their open letter that “that we will not be silent in defense of fundamental human rights and we challenge our peers in the business community to do the same.”
“A painful truth is that access to reproductive health has always been a privilege, when it should be a human right for all,” Hollender acknowledged. She hopes that as a result of their collective call to action, more powerful female CEOs answer the call and take a stand alongside them.