This month, West Virginia and Indiana became the latest states in the U.S. to pass near-total bans on abortion. In August, trigger laws — laws previously set up to take effect in the event that Roe v. Wade no longer applied — went into effect in Texas, Idaho, and Tennessee, bringing the total to 15 states in the U.S. where abortion is illegal or severely restricted. Across more than a dozen additional states, local lawmakers have expressed a desire to also prohibit abortion, and political figures have even introduced a bill for a nationwide ban.
Before the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, individuals had already been reevaluating how they engage with their work. This is best evidenced by the Great Resignation’s ongoing mass exodus of employees — many of whom are looking for organizations that better align with their priorities and values, including those that place greater emphasis on employee health and well-being. Today, how organizations respond to Dobbs is shaping whether they support and keep top talent or sideline and possibly lose valuable employees.
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Consider the following examples of Minh and Jessie.
Minh works in Texas and has always appreciated the possibility of working from home with her organization. She and her husband are trying to have a baby, but she has had multiple miscarriages. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, she is moving out of Texas because she is worried about her ability to receive lifesaving care if she becomes pregnant and has complications again. She was prepared to find a new job but felt more loyal to her organization than ever before when her manager assured her that she could continue working remotely from a state that protects her reproductive rights.
How individuals experience pregnancy, parenthood, and caregiving has a wide-ranging impact on their work and career trajectories.
Jessie just finished a successful summer MBA internship that they loved with a Fortune 500 company, and the organization wants Jessie to join full time at corporate headquarters in Atlanta after graduation. Although Jessie is not ready to start a family right now, they are scared to live in a state where their reproductive rights are threatened.