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There are PR implications with Supreme Court rulings

I’m an emotional person. Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times, well …. 

I was a bundle of them last week when the Supreme Court announced it was overturning Roe v. Wade which constitutionally gave women the right to safe reproductive healthcare. I went so far in emotional dump writing to call it Taliban-like rule. Overturning the constitutional right to a safe abortion in my opinion, as well as most Americans, should be a decision made by a woman, her healthcare providers and her family (if she chooses). Getting this life-changing procedure is a personal decision. It does not spread disease or threaten others with military-style rifles.

Do you think this would have ever been reversed if it were men’s bodies in question? Discuss.

When my blood pressure lowered to a spot where I could see that we must return to the work of our mothers and grandmothers I also considered how public relations plays a part in the overturn of Roe v. Wade

In a brief brainstorm, I recognized several ways the ruling could affect businesses and how they responsibly respond.

Big business

Several organizations have released statements about women’s reproductive rights. Many of us appreciate statements, but like other issues of humanity, their actions in days and months to follow will demonstrate their sincerity. Will businesses contribute to campaigns that vow to re-empower a women’s right to choose? Will they refrain from contributing to politicians who restrict women’s rights? There are more than a few that write from one side of their desks while they cut checks at the other. It only takes a Google search to find out who or what vendors support. If you release hypocritical statements, your reach for goodwill PR will slam back at you like a springboard.


If your workplace promises to pay for travel to terminate a pregnancy, will this breach personal confidentiality and ultimately cost you down the road? Even in a world of transparency, I don’t talk to many women who want to share all their health issues with employers. 

PR statement or stay quiet?

When a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision was leaked weeks ago there was debate about whether brands benefitted from speaking for or against Roe v. Wade to the degree that a public relations firm was called out for telling clients not to take a stand. Whenever you do something that hits a nerve, you risk alienating clients. For instance, there are a couple of businesses that sought “religious” exemptions from health insurance to cover birth control. These are the businesses that are on my do-not-call list now and forever.

Athletes and sports executives

Some consider organized sports an afterthought, but know that they educate your children, contribute to the economy, and help mold healthy, productive members of society. 

It doesn’t affect me

If you’re a man and think supporting women’s healthcare doesn’t matter or affect you, guess what — you’re half of the equation in that pregnancy thing! If you’re a prominent citizen, running for political office or a front-facing celebrity, your voice carries weight. Call it associative relations. It’s on you, too. (P.S. BIG props to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Syracuse University athletics director, John Wildhack for saying what too many men in the public eye have not.)

It doesn’t affect me2

One Supreme Court justice signaled that he’s in favor of removing Americans’ legal access to birth control. Imagine all the vasectomy clinics that will be packed because men will be responsible for birth control! (Yeah, I laughed, too.) *Contraceptives, like abortions, are often recommended by doctors for painful and dangerous health issues.

It doesn’t affect me3

Are you or do you have family/friends in mixed-race or same-sex relationships? I guarantee these groups know what happened when women’s right to control their bodies was reversed, it could have ramifications on their lives.  

We take a lot for granted

In sports, we complain about things like conference realignment, officiating, facilities and ticket prices. They are all as we say, first-world problems. But do people consider the kind of lives we’ll have if more human rights are systematically stripped?

What should you do?

Again, that’s your call. I’ll continue to champion leaders who vocally and actively support expanding, not retracting women’s rights – human rights. More than half of the U.S. supports women’s rights to safe and legal abortions, and it’s as important to women today as it was 50 years ago. If your stance becomes public one way or another, however, have your facts straight and be prepared to talk about it. 


©Gail Sideman, 2022

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