AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who raked in over $29 million in 2018. AT&T donated big to pro-abortion ban politicians across six states. (Source: Youtube.com)
The website Popular Information recently published an important article naming six major corporations that made substantial donations to the political leadership in the states that recently passed extreme abortions bans: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.
The six corporations are: AT&T, Coca-Cola, Aetna, Walmart, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly.
Abortion bans disproportionately impact poor and low income communities. For example, the Guardian notes that “[a]mong US abortion patients, 75% are poor or low-income, including 49% who live below the federal poverty level.”
According to the latest census data, the average median income in the six states that recently passed these bans is $48,752, and the average poverty rate is over 16%.
In contrast, the average salary for the CEOs of the six companies profiled in the Popular Information article was over $21 million last year. It would take someone earning even the median income from these six states 430 YEARS to earn as much as these CEOs earned just last year.
These millionaire CEOs run companies that are funding the politicians who are advancing abortion bans. It’s worth noting that they live lavish existences far away from the economic realities faced by the people most affected by these bans. And by making these contributions to state lawmakers, these corporations and their CEOs are taking a side on the issue of reproductive freedom.
Telecom giant AT&T donated to political leaders in all six states. Coca-Cola donated to the political leadership of five of the six states that passed abortion bans. Health care conglomerate Aetna made donations to anti-choice politicians in four of the abortion ban states.
In 2018, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made over $29 million in his role. Coca Cola CEO James Quincey received $16.7 million between base compensation and bonuses. Aetna is now owned by CVS Health Corporation. CVS CEO Larry J. Merlo made $22 million in 2018.
Like AT&T, Walmart has donated to political leadership in all six states. Pfizer also spread their donations across all six states. Pharma giant Eli Lilly & Co donated to politicians who advanced abortion bans in five states.
As CEO of Walmart, Doug McMillon made nearly $24 million in base and incentive pay in 2018. Ian Read made $19.5 million as the head of Pfizer. Read left his role in January, but incoming CEO Albert Bourla will likely be on the same pay scale. Eli Lilly is headed by David Ricks. Ricks took in $17.2 million in base, stock, and incentive pay in 2018.
In an indication that corporations may be starting to feel public pressure to distance themselves from doing business with states that have passed anti-abortion legislation, Netflix announced that it is considering pulling out of Georgia, where it films some of its hit shows. But as Judd Legum from Popular Information notes, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has given big to state legislators who have pushed abortion bans.
Whether it’s Netflix or the six companies discussed above, it is critical to know who leads the corporations whose donations keep anti-abortion politicians in office where they can push their reactionary agendas.