Video game companies react to Supreme Court abortion decision
On Friday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade overruled by a vote of 6 to 3, removing the constitutional right to choose an abortion. The United States had protected Americans’ right to abortion for half a century; The landmark judgment in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization undoes decades of progress and introduces the possibility that other established rights could be overridden, such as the right to same-sex marriage and contraception.
States must now decide individually whether abortion is legal, and in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, nine states have already banned the procedure. Twelve other states are likely to ban or severely restrict access to abortion treatments, according to the New York Times. People seeking abortions in these states will be forced to travel abroad for medical care and if they are unable to travel they have no other option.
As The Verge reported in May, bans on abortion in dozens of states will further tie health care to employers and workplaces. After Roe v. Wade was lifted, many companies have released statements declaring their intention to assist employees who must travel to receive this procedure. Video game studios are joining companies across industries by expanding health packages to include abortion insurance and medical travel services. Workers living in affected areas and working at these companies can apply for funding to get the care they need, but this gives employers exceptional powers. Without a nationwide right to healthcare, companies must step in, making inequalities visible across the healthcare system.
determination 2 Developer Bungie was one of the first studios to comment on the Supreme Court’s decision. “Bungie is committed to ensuring that each of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential health care,” a Bungie representative wrote on its website. “As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to additional states, we will now introduce a travel reimbursement program for each employee that can be used if they or a loved one cannot access the healthcare they need where they live.”
Bungie is also affiliated with a number of healthcare rights organizations such as Trans Lifeline and Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality.
Microsoft, Bethesda (owned by Microsoft), Ubisoft, Devolver Digital, Daybreak Games, Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Electronic Arts and others have all made public statements in support of reproductive rights. Activision Blizzard has yet to comment on social media, but it told Polygon that “maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for everyone is a top priority” for the company, noting that it recently expanded its medical travel services plan .
Activision Blizzard has not responded to Polygon’s request for more information about protecting the privacy of employees who have to solicit their employer for health-related travel and funds. In response to the same question, an Electronic Arts spokesperson said the company is working with its healthcare provider “to establish that process.”
Halo infinity Support developer Certain Affinity is headquartered in Texas, one of the states that was quick to outlaw abortion following the Supreme Court ruling. A representative from that company told Polygon that it will retain its headquarters in Texas, but has expanded its remote work options for employees who choose to relocate.
“We are committed to relocating any of our employees who are severely impacted by state laws, regardless of what state they are in, should the need arise,” said a Certain Affinity representative . “That goes for all health concerns.”
Overall, Polygon reached out to 28 video game companies based in directly affected states that were quickly outlawing abortion with a series of abortion-related questions. Microsoft, Daybreak Games, and Electronic Arts referred us to statements posted on social media or a website, while Activision Blizzard sent a statement. Certain Affinity answered Polygon’s questions through a spokesperson. Most had not responded by the time of going to press. Take-Two Interactive and Zynga declined to comment.
https://www.polygon.com/23185284/roe-v-wade-abortion-illegal-video-game-industry-response Video game companies react to Supreme Court abortion decision