How Silicon Valley responded to Roe v Wade overturning
Meta has prevented employees from talking about it on their main internal communications
Apple made no direct reference to the ruling in its statement
Silicon Valley largely discourages its employees from engaging in political conversations
After the contentious ruling by the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Silicon Valley companies have had varied reactions, ranging from forbidding conversation about the judgement to radio silence.
The right-leaning SC overturned the 50-year-old case on Friday, June 24, 2022, handing over the decision of the procedure’s legality to states. The 1973 ruling ensured abortion as a constitutional right for women. While protests broke out in many states, the offices of the Valley’s tech giants were quiet, but Slack channels were blazing.
Also Read: What is Roe v. Wade?
Conversations about the ruling intensified at Amazon.com Inc., as employees hit the company’s internal message boards to talk about the ruling and debate passages from the Bible, according to a Bloomberg report. Beth Galetti, an Amazon Senior Vice President, stepped in and released a company-wide memo stating that the company acknowledged the “strong emotions” of its workforce and that “everyone’s perspective” needed to be respected and that the company was committed to supporting their employees’ “personal medical needs.”
At Meta, the company that owns Facebook, managers were sent reminders asking their teams to keep conversations about social and political issues relegated to smaller forums and not on main channels. Even leaders at the company weren’t spared by the policy. Sheryl Sandbergd, Chief Operating Officer, made a post about the ruling calling it a “huge setback” while publicly visible was not allowed to be shared on the company’s internal channels.
For Apple, the ruling couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the company is already trying to fight attempts at unionization at one of its stores. But the official statement made by the company made no references to the ruling, instead stating that it would continue to support its employees if they have to travel out of their home states for medical reasons.
Overall, the atmosphere in Silicon Valley is subdued, compared to the rest of the country, but it comes as no surprise. In 2020, Bloomberg reported how Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange platform, clamped down on political conversations in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a black man whose death sparked nationwide protests over racial discrimination and police brutality.