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Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box

New issues are emerging nearly a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—when initial corporate responses tended to focus on health and travel benefits for employees. 

What we’re watching:

  • Stakeholder focus on corporate political giving: Increased scrutiny of corporate PAC activity, especially in cases where there is a perceived disconnect or conflict between the employee policies they shared post-Dobbs and their past giving activity. 

  • Health sector-specific issues: News and social media are covering emerging issues related to healthcare beyond abortion restrictions. A notable example is non-pregnant patients with chronic illnesses or other conditions struggling to access necessary prescribed medications—such as methotrexate for arthritis patients—due to their potential abortifacient side effects.

  • Data privacy issues: Consumer privacy concerns focus on the use of search engines and apps to search abortion-related topics. That includes tracking health conditions and fertility or purchase products related to reproductive care, personal health and fertility, especially in states that restrict abortions. Tech, health and retail companies may face questions from legislators and regulators about how they are protecting this data.

  • Litigation & legislative/regulatory retaliation:  Companies that publicly announced supportive abortion stances or outlined expanded health and travel benefits may begin to experience backlash from anti-abortion parties and states. This could include the threat of litigation from anti-abortion parties related to corporate travel policies as well as new retaliatory regulation or legislation in anti-abortion states toward companies with supportive travel policies.

By the Numbers

Stuck in the Mud

Reports Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would not support new climate funding last week signaled an increased likelihood clean energy and climate provisions could be dropped from the reconciliation bill. But Senate Democrats are still working to secure a climate deal.

Why it matters:

  • The White House is now determining whether to break some of its climate pledges to secure Manchin’s support for a broader reconciliation package, according to Biden administration officials.

  • Manchin attempted to clear the air Friday, arguing he had not shot down the deal, but rather wants to gauge July inflation numbers before making decisions.

  • Meanwhile, the Energy Department announced $18 million for a new fund that aims to support efforts to deploy clean energy technologies.

In another effort to combat climate change, the Biden administration released a proposed rule to require state and local transportation agencies to set declining greenhouse gas emissions targets. And DOE announced the intent to fund R&D projects to tackle methane emissions.

Bills, Bills, Bills

New polling on inflation shows Sen. Joe Manchin’s not the only one concerned about skyrocketing prices.

What they’re saying: 

  • Most people (84%) believe inflation is a serious problem, with 64% saying it is very serious and 24% saying it is somewhat serious

  • A fifth of Americans say the economy is the most important problem facing the country today, while 15% say it is inflation and 11% say it is political division. 

  • 44% of adults believe gas prices will be higher in six months. Nineteen percent believe they will be the same, and 24% believe they will be lower. 

  • 28% of adults approve of President Biden’s handling of inflation. Only 8% of Republicans approve, compared to 54% of Democrats.

  • Only 11% of Americans think Biden’s policies since taking office have made economic conditions better, down from 26% last year. Fifty-six percent think they have made them worse, and 32% believe they have not had much of an effect. 

July 19, 2022
By Nedra Pickler and Irene Moskowitz
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